Thursday, 6 March 2014

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

He knew at once it was a human bone, when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it.

This sentence is almost perfect. The obvious problem is the pronoun, but it is overshadowed by the awesomeness of this opening line. Mystery novels, in order to hook, need to begin with a mystery, a crime and preferably a murder as soon as possible. This opening does that and more, introducing a human bone, but it's introduced in such an unusual way - a baby is chewing on the the corpse, the evidence. Lots of questions. Why is the baby chewing on a human bone? Whose bone is this?  Who is Mr. Pronoun? Though, this last question is not so much a story question, but more of a technical question in which authors intentionally withhold names and characterization to create tension, and this is a tension that is not dependent on the story but on how the story is told and therefore is weak. That is the problem with pronouns in the beginning.

First thing said:

"What happened?"

This is the question.

Verdict: Cool

Theodore Moracht

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