Category: Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

And The Petrona Award 2015, Went To


The blurb reads: A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbour with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon? Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired by the young father’s parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery. What should she make of the rumours saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing twins? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht’s former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore? The most chilling novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardottír, an international bestseller at the height of her powers. (Source: Hodder & Stoughton)

My review is here.

Although it was not my preferred choice, I must congratulate Yrsa for having won between a strong set of contenders.

Review: The Silence Of The Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Hodder & Stoughton, 2014. Format: Kindle edition. File Size: 1484 KB. Print Length: 433 pages. Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Originally published as Brakid, in 2011. ISBN:9781444734478. ASIN: B00FG26SIK.

isbn9781444734478-detailThe story begins when a luxury yacht crashes upon arrival into the docks in Reykjavik harbour. Soon it is discovered there’s no one on board, although it is known that the three members of the crew and a family of four had embarked in Lisbon bound to Iceland. The missing family had left behind a toddler in the care of her paternal grandparents. It so happens that her parents, shortly before starting the voyage, had taken out life insurance with an extravagantly high coverage. And now her grandparents resort to Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, a Reykjavik lawyer, to defend the interest of their granddaughter vis-à-vis the insurance company, and try to figure out what could have happened. The yacht is now owned by a resolution committee, appointed to wind up the affairs of one of Iceland’s failed banks. The committee had seized the yacht when the previous owner proved unable to pay back the bank loan used to purchase the vessel. In fact, the yacht was returning to Iceland now to be put up for sale. There is no clue on what might have happened to the people that were on board. And as the story proceeds we will find out the reasons why the family of four, comprising two adults and two twin sisters, had embarked in Lisbon. Interspersed within the storyline the reader will find out some chapters recounting life on board during the voyage.

I must admit I have had to make an effort to keep my attention in the book taking into account that, for my taste, the pace is extremely slow at times. Besides, without wanting to unveil any of the details of the plot, I must highlight that I have had difficulties to find believable several of the events narrated. It may be that I’m just one of the few discordant voices since, other reviewers, have rated more positively this book. But for me it has been a bit of a disappointment. Particularly, I have found much more interesting those chapters that unfold in Iceland than those in which the action takes place at sea.

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (b. 1963) is the bestselling and award-winning Icelandic crime author of the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series as well as several stand-alone thrillers. She made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first instalment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, and has been translated into more than 30 languages. Her work stands “comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world” according to the Times Literary Supplement. The second instalment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, My Soul To Take, was shortlisted for the 2010 Shamus Award. In 2011 her stand-alone horror novel I Remember You was awarded the Icelandic Crime Fiction Award and was nominated for The Glass Key. The Silence of the Sea is the sixth instalment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series and is shortlisted for this year Petrona Award. (Source: Salomonsson Agency)

My rating: B (I really liked it)

The Silence of the Sea has been reviewed more favourable by Sarah at Crimepieces (Sarah) and by Bernadette at Reactions to Reading

Hodder & Stoughton

Salomonsson Agency

El silencio del mar de Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

La historia comienza cuando un yate de lujo se estrella a su llegada a los muelles en el puerto de Reykjavik. Pronto se descubre que no hay nadie a bordo, aunque se sabe que los tres miembros de la tripulación y una familia de cuatro se habían embarcado en Lisboa con destino a Islandia. La familia desaparecida había dejado atrás una niña pequeña al cuidado de sus abuelos paternos. Se da la circunstancia de que sus padres, poco antes de iniciar el viaje, había contratado un seguro de vida con una cobertura extravagantemente alta. Y ahora sus abuelos recurren a Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, una abogada de Reykjavik, para defender los intereses de su nieta frente a la compañía de seguros, y tratar de averiguar lo que podría haber sucedido. El yate es ahora propiedad de un comité de resolución, designado para liquidar los negocios de uno de los bancos islandeses en quiebra. El comité se había apoderado del yate cuando el dueño anterior fue incapaz de pagar el préstamo bancario utilizado para la compra de la embarcación. De hecho, el yate estaba regresando a Islandia ahora para ser puesto a la venta. No hay ninguna pista sobre lo que podría haber sucedido a las personas que estaban a bordo. Y a medida que avanza la historia vamos a averiguar las razones por las cuales la familia de cuatro miembros, compuesta por dos adultos y dos hermanas gemelas, había embarcado en Lisboa. Intercalados dentro de la historia, el lector encontrará algunos capítulos que narran la vida a bordo durante la travesía.

Debo admitir que he tenido que hacer un esfuerzo para mantener mi atención en el libro teniendo en cuenta que, para mi gusto, el ritmo es muy lento a veces. Además, sin querer desvelar alguno de los detalles de la trama, debo resaltar que he tenido dificultades para encontrar creíbles varios de los acontecimientos narrados. Puede ser que yo sólo soy una de las pocas voces discordantes ya que otras reseñas han evaluado más positivamente este libro. Sin embargo, para mí ha sido un poco decepcionante. Particularmente, he encontrado mucho más interesantes los capítulos que se desarrollan en Islandia que aquellos en los que la acción tiene lugar en el mar.

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (1963) es una autora de novela negra islandesa muy galardonada y con gran éxito de ventas por su serie protagonizada por Thora Guðmundsdóttir así como por varias novelas de suspense independientes.  Debutó en el 2005 con El último ritual, la primera entrega de la serie Thora Guðmundsdóttir, y ha sido traducida a más de 30 idiomas. Su obra debe “compararse con la mejor novela negra contemporánea que puede escribirse en cualquier parte del mundo“, según el Times Literary Supplement. La segunda entrega de la serie Thora Guðmundsdóttir, Ladrón de almas, fue finalista al Premio Shamus 2010. En 2011 su novela de terror independiente I Remember You fue galardonada con el Premio de novela negra de Islandia y fue nominada al Premio Glass Key. El silencio del mar es la sexta entrega de la serie Thora Guðmundsdóttir y es finalista al Premio Petrona de esta año.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó mucho)

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction: Y is for Yrsa, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse por la pantalla hacia abajo.

The Crime Fiction Alphabet, hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, has arrived this week to letter “Y”. Do take the time to check out HERE the entries from other fellow participants towards the end of the week. Like me, you’ll find yourself adding “must read” titles to your TBR.

My Y is for Yrsa. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic name. The last name is a patronymic or matronymic, not a family name; this person is properly referred to by the given name “Yrsa”.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir or Yrsa Sigurdardottir graduated from high-school in 1983, finished a B.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Iceland in 1988 and a M. Sc. in the same field from Concordia University in Montreal in 1997. She now works as a civil engineer in Reykjavik.

As a writer Yrsa wrote award-winning children’s books before turning to crime fiction. Her debut crime-novel, Þriðja táknið (2005) Last Rituals, translated into English by Bernard Scudder, was published in the US in 2007, and the UK in January 2008. It was the first in a series, featuring attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir and was followed by Sér grefur gröf (2006) My Soul to Take, Ösku (2007) Ashes to Dust, and Auðnina (2008) The Day is Dark coming on 21 July 2011. To my knowledge Horfðu á mig (2009) Look at Me has no release date yet. On 21 June 2011 she received the Blood Drop trophy and annual award of the Icelandic Crime Literature Association for Ég man þig (2010) I Remember You.

You can find additional informationHERE.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir at Veröld Publishing

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir blogs once a week at Murder is Everywhere

I have plans to read Last Rituals soon. In the meantime you can find  HERE Maxine’s review, first posted on Euro Crime, November 2008. Stay tuned.

El Alfabeto del Crimen: Y es por Yrsa, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

El Alfabeto del Crimen, organizado por Kerrie en Mysteries in Paradise, ha llegado esta semana a la letra “Y”.  Tómese su tiempo para verAQUÍ las entradas del resto de los participantes hacia finales de la semana. Como yo, seguro que encontrará algunos títulos imprescindibles para agregar a su lista de libros para leer.

Mi “Y” es para Yrsa. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir es un nombre islandés. El último nombre es por lo tanto un patronímico, no es un apellido; podemos referirnos correctamente a esta persona por su nombre de pila “Yrsa”.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir o Yrsa Sigurdardottir acabó su estudios de secundaria en 1983, se licenció en ingeniería civil por la Universidad de Islandia en 1988 y obtuvo su grado de Master en Ingenieria por la Universidad de Concordia en Montreal en 1997. Ahora trabaja como ingeniero civil en Reykjavik.

Para obtener más información sobre Yrsa y sus libros en castellano se puede consultar AQUÍ. Su última novela traducida en castellano es Ceniza (Suma 2010).

>Scandinavian Reading Challenge


th_scandinaviamap-1 I have just sign for a new challenge hosted by Amy at The Black Sheep Dances.

The goal is to read 6 books by Scandinavian authors before December 31, 2010.

I take for granted that we can consider Scandinavian countries, for the purpose of this challenge, not only Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, but also Finland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. (Wikipedia).

Paraphrasing Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, I’m also seriously addicted to crime fiction, therefore I’m restricting my participation in the 2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge to crime fiction titles. I’m not sure whether participants can use books of any other genre.

Why? “Because Murder is More Fun Away From Home“, Peter Rozovsky dixit at Detectives Beyond Borders

To join this Challenge click here

I have so far in my TBR pile 4 books:

1) Silence of the Grave (2001) by Arnaldur Indriðason (Iceland)

2) Nemesis (2008) by Jo Nesbø (Norway)

3) Sun Storm (aka The Savage Altar) (2006) by Asa Larsson (Sweden)

4) The Fire Engine That Disappeared (2009) by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (Sweden)

For the balance I was thinking to choose one book from Leif G.W. Persson and another one from Yrsa Sigurðardóttir.

Your suggestions are welcome.

Don’t know what to read? The following links will provide some useful tips.

Scandinavian Crime Fiction in English

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Salomonsson Agency

Mystery Readers Journal Scandinavian Mysteries

Petrona: The enduring appeal of Nordic novels

International Noir Fiction

DJs krimiblog

Crime Scraps