cover image The Reckoning

The Reckoning

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Minotaur, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-13628-2

Sigurdardóttir just keeps getting better and better, as shown by this second entry in the trilogy that began with 2018’s The Legacy. In 2016, hunky demoted Reykjavík detective Huldar consults Freyja, a child psychologist with whom he worked on a previous case, about a 10-year-old unsigned letter left in a time capsule by an unknown high school student predicting six murders in 2016. The victims are indicated only by initials. Soon chopped up body parts start turning up, and Huldar and Freyja uncover disturbing information that links these murders to old crimes that sparked the letter. Sigurdardóttir effortlessly blends police procedure and politics with gleeful jabs at inane human frailties, like Huldar’s ill-advised drunken one-night stand with his foulmouthed female boss. She also categorically indicts a governmental system whose minions refuse to believe children who cry out for help in unimaginably sadistic family situations. The spiky romantic tension between Huldar and Freyja, who’s furious with him because he once slept with her under false pretenses, provides relief from the grim story line. This is must-reading for Scandinavian crime fans. (Feb.)