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The Absolution


The Absolution

In THE ABSOLUTION, the third installment in her Children’s House series, Yrsa Sigurdardottir brings together Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja to help solve two murders and explore how bullying impacts victims.

Two teenagers are found tortured to death, marked with the numbers “2” and “3” on their bodies. Is there a number “1” out there that has not yet been found? Or a number “4” waiting on the horizon?

"Full of clues and red herrings, THE ABSOLUTION is a well-written book with an interesting and timely plot"

The killer posts footage of the murders on Snapchat to make sure as many people as possible see the terrible end to which these two victims came. The first, Stella, is seen begging for forgiveness, although no one knows what she wanted to be forgiven for. The second, Egill, was alive when he was left to die in a container. Readers learn that these teens were no angels; in fact, they were known bullies. Is someone taking revenge on them, and will there be more videos of bodies sent out on social media? The public and the police learn about these crimes at the same time.

One of the girls bullied years ago was Adalheidur, whose parents intervened but to no avail. She resorted to keeping “a low profile, avoided social media and spent her time counting down the days until she was old enough to leave the country.” She lost patience and decided to kill herself, but botched the job and lost half of her face. As a result, Adalheidur spent years in isolation in a care facility. But her father never forgot. Her tormentor, Asta, became a nurse when she grew up. Ironically, she saw Adalheidur’s father suffer a heart attack and saved his life. He lived long enough to recognize Asta and threatened her.

As the narrative unfolds, Sigurdardottir embellishes the plot with high drama and a foreboding sense of darkness. Full of clues and red herrings, THE ABSOLUTION is a well-written book with an interesting and timely plot. All of the characters are finely honed, and the level of suspense rises with each revelation.

Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum on February 14, 2020

The Absolution
by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 125013630X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250136305