This week's read

The magnificent and luxurious yacht was expected to arrive back in Iceland late, when most folks have been asleep for hours, but its awkward and damaging arrival were not anticipated. Neither was it supposed to be empty. Seven people had disappeared, three crewmen and a couple with their young twin girls.

The Silence of the Sea” by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir was named best Scandinavian thriller of the year, and is just one of the latest Scandinavian novels to be translated into English and become a bestseller.

Ægir, his wife, Lára, and twin daughters were supposed to fly back home from their trip to Lisbon, but fate intervened. The ship Ægir was in charge of repossessing for his company was down a crew member, and it would not be permitted to set sail without the required number of members, for safety. 

As a cost-saving measure, Ægir’s company allowed him to become the extra crew member, but this also meant his family would be traveling with them. At first, Ægir had been pitching the trip as a great adventure. As the actual boarding of Lady K drew near, his own doubts surfaced, but it was too late to change his mind.

The trip began less smoothly than it could have. Before departure, Ægir had been unable to secure satellite connection for the ship, which meant no cell phones. And Captain Thráinn wasn’t exactly thrilled to have a “crew member” who had only earned a Pleasure Craft Competency Certificate. However, these were all trifles compared to the woman’s body they found in the ship’s freezer. That’s when the real nightmare began.

Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is brought into the mystery by the twins’ grandparents. They had been watching over Ægir’s two-year-old child, who was too young to accompany the family on the trip. Ægir ‘s parents, Margeir and Sigrídur, are devastated by the news of their missing son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, and are trying to keep custody of the two-year-old amid the turmoil. 

Thóra, a lawyer, is investigating to help prove to the insurance company that the missing persons should be considered deceased, so as to provide the grandparents with the financial capability of caring for the last remaining member of the young family.

While the bulk of the story is thrilling and one of those can’t-put-it-down types, the reveal is rather anticlimactic. In just a page, Thóra discloses the details aloud to the grandparents or, on occasion, reveals other details via her inner thoughts, to which only the reader is privy.

The solution to the story was practical and logical, but the last page was not necessarily satisfactory to this reviewer. The ending felt rushed and incongruous with the character development to that point. Perhaps another reader will appreciate that this particular ending was inevitable.

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