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The Reckoning is the stunning follow-up to The Legacy, which was the start of a thrilling new series that Booklist (starred) recommends for fans of Tana French.

Vaka sits, regretting her choice of coat, on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. Grownups, she decides, are useless.

With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, on the other side of a high fence, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl''s house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka.

Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in. Soon, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

From the international number one-bestselling author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Yrsa Sigurdardottir returns with the follow-up to The Legacy.

Review

"Sigurdardottir just keeps getting better and better. This is must-reading for Scandinavian crime fans."―Publishers Weekly (Starred and Boxed)

"Sigurdardottir offsets sharp procedural elements and gruesome crimes with masterful character development and social commentary, creating a riveting, affecting thriller."―Booklist

"Nordic crime fiction continues to be perennially popular and first-rate, with good reason. Case in point: The Reckoning. The Reckoning is dark, grave, and graphicbut also gripping and compassionate"―The Seattle Times

"[A] chilling page-turner."―National Examiner

Praise for The Legacy:

"[A] relentlessly paced series launch...Few readers will be able to put down this powerful tale of revenge."―Publishers Weekly (starred) on The Legacy

"A complex, character-driven procedural, powerfully rooted in buried secrets of childhood trauma. Recommended for fans of Tana French and Camilla Lackberg."―Booklist (starred) on The Legacy

"Brilliant . . . her best novel to date."―The Globe and Mail on The Legacy

"The Legacy is the start of an exciting new direction for Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The horror of a decades-old family separation provides the catalyst for dark crimes and a complex investigation."―Sarah Ward, author of In Bitter Chill

"We have always been able to rely on Yrsa Sigurdardóttir for a good story well told, and The Legacy is no exception. A strong sense of place, interesting characters and a chilling plot make The Legacy a novel to savor."―Peter Robinson

"If you like your crime fiction dark and engaging, look no further. A cracking start to a new series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir."―Mari Hannah on The Legacy

"Yrsa remains the queen of Icelandic thriller writers."―Guardian on The Legacy

About the Author

YRSA SIGURDARDÓTTIR (pronounced EAR-suh SIG-ur-dar-daughter) lives with her family in Reykjavík. She is a director of one of Iceland’s largest engineering firms. Her work is climbing bestseller lists all over the world, and films are currently in production for several of her books. Her titles include The Silence of the Sea and The Legacy.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
698 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

prisrob
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Marlboro Man
Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2019
The Reckoning has certainly increased my attention to the author, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir. And, let me add the fact that she has added a Pronounciation Guide For Character Names, is a real plus. I am a fan of Scandinavian mysteries/police procedurals, and, now, I have a much... See more
The Reckoning has certainly increased my attention to the author, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir. And, let me add the fact that she has added a Pronounciation Guide For Character Names, is a real plus. I am a fan of Scandinavian mysteries/police procedurals, and, now, I have a much better idea how to pronounce these names.

What we have is a novel of great complexity of characters and storyline. I thought I had a fairly good idea of who did it and why, but, Sigurdardotti has outsmarted me. Indeed, the title gives us a great clue. This book has characters I will remember. This is apparently Book 2 of a 2 book series, and, of course, I will go to book 1 very quickly. The book is titled as book 2 of the children series, and, indeed, this book has child abuse written all over it. We meet Haldur, Police detective in Rejkavik, recently demoted because of issues in his last case. Freyja, a child psychologist, worked with Huldar, and once again they connect for a bloody, murderous mess. We meet the characters in the Reykjavik police department, and get to know them. The families of incarcerated men, the victim’s parents, several child psychologists, and the odd person here and there. The city is rugged and so are the people. Many that we meet, carry psychological wounds, that go untreated and fester. Such a good word, fester. Unprotected children, some with parents who love them dearly and could not have saved them from harm, some in denial and looking elsewhere. All the while the writing and the characters offer us an inviting look into this scene. Wherever it leads, we follow.

The author is known as the Queen of Icelandic thrillers, and so it is.

Recommended. prisrob 02-14-19
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Michael P. McClure
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A beautiful piece of misdirection. I suspected everyone but who the killer was.
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2019
The book is strong stuff. The first few pages are harrowing as the author conveys the growing terror of a little girl. I can see some readers putting the book down at that point - which is a testimony to the power of the author''s writing. The plot is superb with an end... See more
The book is strong stuff. The first few pages are harrowing as the author conveys the growing terror of a little girl. I can see some readers putting the book down at that point - which is a testimony to the power of the author''s writing. The plot is superb with an end of the book stinger. As is usual with Sigurdardottir, the detectives have interesting private lives which adds to the effectiveness of the story. Poor Huldar. I enjoyed ''The Reckoning'' very much, but I can''t get The Prologue out of my head. I''ve read everyone of this writers adult novels and this is near the top of the list.

For an elderly person like me, the print was large which made reading much easier.
3 people found this helpful
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The Life & Times of a Book Addict
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kept Me Guessing...
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2019
This was the first time that I dipped my toe into the international crime novel world and I have to say I''m not even a little bit disappointed. Well I am disappointed that I didn''t try this sooner than I did. The Reckoning was a very well done crime novel. This... See more
This was the first time that I dipped my toe into the international crime novel world and I have to say I''m not even a little bit disappointed. Well I am disappointed that I didn''t try this sooner than I did.

The Reckoning was a very well done crime novel. This is the second book in The Children’s House series. I did not read the first book, The Legacy before reading The Reckoning though. There were events that took place in The Legacy that were referenced a few times in this book and even though I didn''t know exactly what happened previously, it didn''t hinder my experience while reading The Reckoning.

The story starts in the past, where a horrible crime was committed and then we fast forward several years later where we get to see the further effects that that crime has had on several people in this story. We also become entangled in another crime that may or may not be connected. One that might be predicting future murders….

It was hard for me to keep the names straight at first, but after a few chapters I got it down. I really enjoyed getting to know the two main characters Huldar and Freyja. They have very different personalities. They are flawed, but they’re also both smart and determined people. Not to mention, they work well together. The author, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir does a great job of creating a solid mystery and weaving clues throughout the story while connecting all of these characters and their situations. One thing I was super excited about was that I never guessed who the killer was. This mystery kept me guessing all the way to the end. Even after I thought I knew what was going to happen and how things were going to play out...That ending threw me for yet another loop! Well done.
3 people found this helpful
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Cathleen Taylor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The motive is hard to decipher, intriguing.
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2018
This author has a wonderful way of writing, it is a pleasure to read. I didn''t want to put the book down. It makes me want to visit Iceland, she involves us in her characters lives, I have bought several of her books as they are so well written.
3 people found this helpful
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tarita
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Incredible novel
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2018
I waited for a long time for the second book from The Children House series and it went beyond my expectations! I read it in a few days and couldn’t put it away. Shocking resolution. I can’t wait for the third book.
3 people found this helpful
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Thommas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A writer with talent seems to have finally found her voice....
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
There is nothing more gratifying than reading a writer who has so much talent, and works so hard, and they finally find the balance between plot, character, flow, and story line. I think this is the best book that Yrsa Sigurdardottir has written by FAR! I am looking... See more
There is nothing more gratifying than reading a writer who has so much talent, and works so hard, and they finally find the balance between plot, character, flow, and story line. I think this is the best book that Yrsa Sigurdardottir has written by FAR! I am looking forward to the next ones...
2 people found this helpful
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Donald A. Loffredo
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very Disappointed
Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2019
There are too many characters and dangling confusing subplots in this book. The author wastes time and reader interest by writing incessantly about what each character is thinking which slows down the story. The author also jumps from topic topic in a very confusing and... See more
There are too many characters and dangling confusing subplots in this book. The author wastes time and reader interest by writing incessantly about what each character is thinking which slows down the story. The author also jumps from topic topic in a very confusing and irritating way.
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Kitty
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Whole different view of Iceland
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2021
I am not a professional reviewer of books. I found the characters intriguing and the way the story lines wove in and out of one another. Have read others by this author.
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Top reviews from other countries

Mart G
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another winner from the Icelandic Queen of Crime.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 2, 2018
Following on from The Legacy, The Reckoning sees Children''s House psychologist Freya and police Detective Huldar reunited once more to uncover the truth behind the meaning of a cryptic message left in a school time capsule 10 years before. After their last investigation...See more
Following on from The Legacy, The Reckoning sees Children''s House psychologist Freya and police Detective Huldar reunited once more to uncover the truth behind the meaning of a cryptic message left in a school time capsule 10 years before. After their last investigation together Freyja and Huldar''s relationship is a tad strained to say the least and events here so nothing to ease the tensions. Their fluctuating relationship beats at the heart of this series, it''s not so much a case of will they won''t they get together as much as a will they won''t they even get to be friends. The story in The Reckoning is dark, very dark, with very disturbing themes, something that Yrsa excels in writing. It isn''t a fast paced thriller, but a nuanced, balanced study in the effects a corrupt and failing justice/welfare system can have on those they are trusted to protect. That''s not to say it drags its heels at all, the last ¼ fairly rattles along, but it''s a great example of building character and story. Highly recommended.
12 people found this helpful
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Spicewalker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dark, twisted, vengeful - loved it :)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 18, 2018
Oh my. What another excellent (really, really excellent) book. The opening pages lull you into a false sense of security, just a child waiting outside a school for her father to collect her. You can still feel the tension building though, half expecting something bad to...See more
Oh my. What another excellent (really, really excellent) book. The opening pages lull you into a false sense of security, just a child waiting outside a school for her father to collect her. You can still feel the tension building though, half expecting something bad to happen, for the bogeyman to come along and take her. It gives you the chills without really knowing why, and not just from the description of the dank weather. What actually happens ... well you need to read but this isn''t a fairy story so don''t expect a happy ending. Fast forward eight years and we are back with one of the main protagonists, Huldar, demoted following the mess of his last case and struggling to be accepted by his colleagues who judge him as cursed. Kept on the periphery of most major investigations, his life is dull. Until, that is, he is pulled out to a scene to investigate a potential disturbance, one which leads to a very grim discovery, the start of a chain of events which become progressively more disturbing and progressively darker. I listened to the audio version of the book and there was one particular section where I had to listen to the scene about three or four times to make sure I wasn''t mishearing things due to the road noise around the car, my face contortions growing ever stranger as I listened, my overall reaction being somewhere between ewww and hehehe. I love how the author is not afraid to push the boundaries of crime, to take the most horrific ways to torture an individual and make them breathe on the page without being unnecessarily graphic of gratuitous in their portrayal. You get enough to build your own picture, and this is not a book for either full on horror fanatics or the faint of heart. This book can give you chills and no mistake. I do love the characters of Freyja and Huldar and the way in which they skirt around each other in this book, Their relationship is what can only be described as strained. they are both very intelligent and perceptive people, both constrained by their respective demotions and hampered in their need to do right. Despite the clear chemistry, Freyja is reluctant to start anything and Huldar is scared of hurting her. They make a right pair, or they would do if the author would cut them the tiniest bit of slack. Perhaps they are too alike, stubborn, commitment phobic and independent, something which plays out perfectly on the page, but they do deserve each other, IMHO. Do not expect break neck pacing in this book as it would not suit the narrative. There are some very uncomfortable scenes and situations discussed involving children, so do bear this in mind if this might not be your cup of tea. none of it is played for shock effect and the nature of what is written rings true to the harsh realities of life. That is not to say that despite the pace being slower you do not get those sections of tension, those moments where your heart rate spikes and you are taken to the brink and left feeling breathless afterwards from holding your own a fraction too long. You absolutely are. those moments of atmosphere and tension are where the author truly excels and why I would recommend anyone who loves crime fiction reads this book. There are characters dotted throughout that I both loved and loathed, those who I could not get the measure of and those who I thought I knew and understood who turned out to be anything other than what I was expecting. This is a perfectly dark mystery that will keep you guessing with every page turn, have you hoping beyond hope for a positive outcome, all the time fearing the worst, leaving you in shock and awe at the end. Shock from the sheer clinical nature of the killer on these pages and in awe of the skill that Yrsa Sigurdardottir has to create such a brilliant piece of writing. Highly recommended.
9 people found this helpful
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Mark Baker
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I love Yrsa''s books
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2018
I love Yrsa''s books, but there comes a time when the trope of historical child abuse becomes so repetitive that it undermines any suspense. To be honest. the characters from The Legacy (promising as the start of a new series) have turned into soap opera types. Disappointed.
11 people found this helpful
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Lynda Kelly
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another Superb Job
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2020
Oooooh, another delicious story from this author. I''ve waited a long time for it as well. When it was released it was up for £10.99 which was totally excessive, even IF I were gainfully employed !! I''ll probably need to wait now for over a year till the next ones drop in...See more
Oooooh, another delicious story from this author. I''ve waited a long time for it as well. When it was released it was up for £10.99 which was totally excessive, even IF I were gainfully employed !! I''ll probably need to wait now for over a year till the next ones drop in price. I''ll definitely be reading them as this is one terrific writer and series. I did make a HUGE observation in this instalment that I have no idea whatsoever what Huldar and Freyja''s surnames are ! I hadn''t even spotted that in the first story......ashamedly. I liked in this instalment that both of them surprised me in differing ways as we learned more about their own personalities as well. There were twists and turns and shocking surprises all the way through and until the very conclusion. Just superbly done. I love her characters as well. I know many bleat about the will-they-won''t-they aspect of a male and female working together part of a lot of police procedural type of tales but I like that it adds that differing aspect. Some nasty people, so therefore nasty crimes in this one, though in some cases I found myself cheering them on. Translation and presentation again brilliant. I spotted a few errors but again, nothing like I ever spot in books by English writers, trust me. I did find a couple of instances where she tends to put things in a different order to us. So, something is discovered, then referenced, yet we''re in the dark for a chapter or two. I prefer clarification as it happens but it''s my own personal gripe. Gents was written without its apostrophe a couple of times, hap-pened didn''t warrant the hyphen and jailor should be jailer. I had to laugh at reading of the Oppositional Defiant Disorder......makes a change from all the usual "A" illnesses youngsters all seem to have these days. No doubt it will not catch on as fast, thankfully, down to its unfortunate acronym. We can but hope. I''m sure this sort of thing was just bad or naughty in my time as a kid.....call me oldfashioned. Another super job, Yrsa, keep ''em coming !!
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GeordieReader
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing after a promising start to the series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020
This book is in many ways similar to The Legacy, the first in the Children’s House series. Brutal murders are balanced by a lighthearted account of the main characters’ often chaotic private lives. Does this strange mixture work? Surprisingly it does, but it works better if...See more
This book is in many ways similar to The Legacy, the first in the Children’s House series. Brutal murders are balanced by a lighthearted account of the main characters’ often chaotic private lives. Does this strange mixture work? Surprisingly it does, but it works better if there’s a clever and intriguing plot, which is lacking here. There is never any doubt about the motive and it seems unlikely that any of the small pool of suspects could carry out the crimes let alone get away with them. I’ve enjoyed a lot of this author’s books in the past but if this is the best we can hope for, I might not read many more.
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