The Absolution

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Minotaur, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-13630-5
In Sigurdardóttir’s stellar third Children’s House thriller (after 2019’s The Reckoning), Freyja , a frustrated child psychologist, joins forces with Huldar , an problem-ridden Reykjavík police detective, to try to catch a serial killer. The killer posts horrific images on Snapchat to announce the torture-slaughter of adolescent cyberbullies. The fraught relationship between Freyja and Huldar adds emotional depth; since a passionate but ill-fated one-night stand in 2018’s The Legacy, Freyja has realized Huldar is the wrong man in the right body for her. The less conflicted Huldar remains attracted to her. Meanwhile, Freyja must gingerly tiptoe around Huldar’s boss, Erla , who was once investigated for sexually harassing him. Sigurdardóttir indicts an education system that consistently lets its students down, parents who foster dysfunctional family life, and medical personnel who selfishly hide vital secrets. She also unflinchingly reveals the excruciating pain felt by bullies’ victims. This heart-wrenching story deserves a wide audience. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/05/2019
Release date: 02/11/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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