2010 Madrid Book Fair

Feria del Libro 2010 Madrid This is one of the events of which I feel proudest of my birth city.  Its 69th edition will take place this year from May 28 to June 13 at the Paseo de Coches de los Jardines del Buen Retiro.

The Madrid Book Fair is organized by the Madrid Booksellers Association, the Madrid Publishers Association and the Federation of National Associations of Publishers Distributors (FANDE).

Twenty-five Nordic authors will attend this year Fair, including: Sara Blædel, Peter Wessel, Rakel Helmsdale, Hanne Bartholin and Pia Tafdrup from Denmark. Kjell West, Otso Kautto, Risto Isomäki and Kari Hotakainen from Finland. Árni Thorarinsson and Åslaug Jónsdóttir, from Iceland. Nikolaj Frobenius, Tomas Espedal, Dag Solstad, Stian Hole, Erik Fosnes Hansen, and Jostein Gaarder from Norway. And Camilla Läckberg, Arne Dahl, Lisa Marklund, Kjell Eriksson, Johan Theorin, Tom Kallen, Kalle Guettler and Åsa Larsson from Sweden.

For more information you can visit:

Madrid Book Fair Official Website (In Spanish)

Mis detectives favorit@s (In Spanish)

Madrid 2010 Month by month

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason

la-mujer-de-verde_arnaldur-indridason_libro-OAFI283 Arnaldur Indriðason. La mujer de verde (aka Silencio sepulcral, 2008). Original title Grafarþögn (2001). English title: Silence of the Grave. Traducción de Enrique Bernardez. RBA Libros, S.A. Barcelona (2009). 304 p. ISBN: 978-84-9867-263-3.

200px-Silenceofthegravecover Silence of the Grave was originally published in 2001 in Icelandic as Grafarþögn. This was the second book featuring Detective Inspector Erlendur translated into English, although it is actually number four in the series, the first two books are not available in English yet. The English translation by Bernard Scudder, in 2005, won the British Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger award for best crime novel of the year. I read this book in Spanish.

The book opens with the discovery of a human bone in a building under construction during a children’s party in Reykjavik. “He knew at once it was a human bone when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it.” The bone is part of a skeleton that experts say could lead buried since the end of World War II, some 70 years earlier, on the hillside of Grafarholt. When Erlendur arrives to oversee the excavation of the bones, he notices some red-currant bushes and wonders who might have planted them on this barren hillside.

While the archaeologists are excavating at a very slow pace, Erlendur has no patience and, together with his team, he starts to investigate the earlier life of this place, once a region of small farms and summer houses close to a military installation. From interviews with survivors of the original residents, they reconstruct the district’s history, only to find out an even more disturbing truth: the murder of souls.th_scandinaviamap-1

Silence of the Grave was such a compelling reading that I was not able to put in down. I had to read it literally relentlessly. Its sense of time and space is absolutely great. The book is excellent because it is very well written and Indriðason is able to set the appropriate pace to a very intelligent story, one that perfectly binds the past with the present, slower when referring to the past, faster when focusing in the present. An exceptional deep story that reflects one of the biggest problems of our society and which, unfortunately, is still far from being solved. In a nutshell this is a superb book. A must read for all crime fiction fans.

2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge Book # 4

Scandinavian Crime fiction

Arnaldur Indriðason at Wikipedia

Review at Euro Crime

Fantastic Fiction; Barnes and Noble; RBA Libros.

>Blog Problems

>I have been experiencing some problems with my blog and I was told to remove all my gadgets.
If the problem is soon solved I would add some of my previous gadgets. I hope this would solve them. Craig, thanks for pointing this situation to me first and for bringing a possible solution. Hope It will work.

Purgatory Road by Bob Reiss

Purgatory Road

Purgatory Road by Bob Reiss. Simon & Schuster 1996. New York. 240 p. ISBN: 0-684-81119-7.

In the prologue Jack Amirault, a young scientist at the U.S. Ellsworth Base in Antarctica, defying the authority of Rick Page the base manager, goes out to rescue Robyn Williams in the middle of a storm. Robyn, a young environmental activist, was trapped during a trek through a mountain pass called Purgatory Road. She was walking 250 miles to show the world that the Antarctica is in danger. Jack and his best friend Brian Phillips manage to rescue Robyn, but Brian looses his life and Jack catches a severe depression.

A year later the story begins when Jack is back at the base and Robyn has returned to finish her trek, while in the meantime a crucial treaty, opening the Antarctica to mining developments, is about to be signed. One night Jack’s sister, another scientist at the base, is found half eaten by leopard seals. Everybody believes in a fatal accident, but Jack is sure that she has been murdered. During the course of his investigation Jack gets himself into trouble and needs to prove his innocence. Could this murder be eventually connected with the treaty signature?

The book just praises the individual efforts against adversity. It doesn’t matter whether it takes the form of adverse natural elements, or hidden interests of countries or multinationals. Under the cover of a mixture of genres: romance, adventure, espionage, suspense, or even murder it is totally unrealistic. Except Globus 2for the setting I got the impression that I have seen this story before in any Hollywood style TV film. The information given about past events is totally irrelevant to the plot which has plenty of coincidences, most of them were difficult to believe. The characters lack any real depth and it all ends up like a fairy tale. It was just not worth reading it.

This was my first book set in Antarctica for my participation in the 2010 Global Reading Challenge.

For additional information see Fantastic fiction and Wikipedia.

>The CWA International Dagger 2010: Shortlist


The Crime Writers’ Association announced yesterday the shortlist, among others, for the CWA International Dagger 2010: Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, August Heat by Andrea Camilleri, Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest by Stieg Larsson, Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer and The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin.

So far I have read August Heat and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. The winner will be announced at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July. I still have some time to read them all before placing my bet.