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This is the first book in the start of a new crime series which I devoured page by page.I d left this book at home, thought I had it in my bag when I knew I d be spending some time in the car and sitting for appointments at the hospital nothing serious I was so fed up as I couldn t wait to jump back into this plot.A ten year old daughter becomes the only witness to a terrible shocking murder Treading carefully the Police need to bring in some expertise The Children s house.Then people die.There somehow links together a pattern by texts, strange weird messages and numbers.There are so many twists in this book you will get dizzy.So many turns that you will trip over yourself coming back.It s such a huge well written book that kept me riveted Yes riveted to it I was stuck like glue.That s why I couldn t wait to get home to finish it and but at the same time I didn t want it to end.My thanks to Veronique at Hodder for my copy. I don t know if the author is just insanely prolific or whether there s a huge backlog of her work to translate into English, but it seems there s a new Yrsa Sigur ard ttir book every nine months or so, and here, like clockwork, is the latest The Legacy is the first in the Children s House series It introduces the central characters of Freyja, director of the Children s House refuge for traumatised and abused children, and police detective Huldar.The Legacy has one of those devilishly clever prologues set in 1987, it briefly depicts three young siblings being split up and sent to adoptive families We know nothing about them, except that their background is so disturbing that a the adults present can barely bring themselves to talk about it, and b it s deemed best to separate the children before their reliance on each other becomes unhealthy Flash forward to 2015, and the gruesome murder of a young mother with her seven year old daughter the only witness appears to have nothing to do with the opening scene But, of course, they must be connected If the opening hooks you, the compulsion to understand how 1987 and 2015 join up is what will drive you through almost 500 pages at speed.This being a series, it also needs a thread that will be carried through to subsequent books, and here it comes in the shape of an unnecessarily complex set of entanglements between Huldar and Freyja, no doubt setting up what will eventually become a relationship Huldar has also had an ill advised hook up with a colleague s wife, the consequences of which slowly unravel over the course of the book Although some of this is relevant to the plot of The Legacy than it first appears, most of it is pretty boring to read about Whenever the narrative dwelled on either character s domestic situation, I longed for a return to the crime plot.That said, the grotesque murders are the worst of both worlds too obviously invented to convince, but horrible than I want to read about in a novel And when the murderer s motive is revealed, it turns out to be ridiculously convoluted While I ll grudgingly admit the solution does tie everything together including that prologue it s so utterly unguessable that I found it frustrating anyway not so much an ah, I see ingenious lightbulb moment as a what, really throw the book aside in annoyance moment.I wonder if the author feels wedded to crime conventions when writing series books than she does writing standalones, as without exception I have found the latter to be original, effective and superior in just about every way I ve also noticed that she always seems to weave at the very least a suggestion of some ghostly or supernatural element into her one off books, something that s conspicuous by its absence here I missed that dark, intriguing edge the deaths in The Legacy aren t frightening, just horrible, and the plot is than a little clunky I will continue to read standalone novels from Sigur ard ttir, but I don t think the Children s House series is for me.I received an advance review copy of The Legacy from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr If you either enjoy Nordic Noir or are looking for a fresh take on crime writing and weary of the same old, same old, consider The Legacy, the first in the Childrens House series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir First, a primer on Iceland for everyone not a resident of that country.Iceland has an estimated population of 300,000 and one of the lowest crime rates in the world Take a glance at the following UN data of 2009 homicides Brazil 43,909 Denmark 47 UK 724 US 15,241 Iceland 1That s right One If you think that s stunning, consider that in 2008 there were zero Moreover, although there are approximately 90,000 guns in Iceland for those 300,000 people , crimes in Iceland usually don t involve firearms Also, there is virtually no economic disparity or class tension 97% of Icelanders identify themselves as middle class One might well pity the writer who opts to write crime novels that take place in Iceland.Enter Yrsa Sigurdardottir, perhaps best known for her series in which the central character is Th ra Gudmundsd ttir Civil engineer by day Crime detective suspense writer by nightM y job as an engineer gives me a particular perspective on the human experience and the way I depict it Engineers confront the world through technology, numbers, energy, strength, budgets, and progress they engage in meetings, face the pressure of schedules and deadlines, and so on Other writers with different training will have insight into layers of the community that I am less interested in My Iceland is thus different from that of Arnaldur Indri ason s his viewpoint is that of a man, mine a woman s if nothing else I do not often address the lower levels of society and by that I mean the so called underworld of criminals My murderers are regular people something that I find challenging, motivating, and credible The local underworld here is not capable of interesting murderers when these occur they are always committed under the influence and are mainly pathetically sad.Instead of drug dealing and petty crimes, I prefer that the interaction between my characters leading up to ill deeds takes into account the closeness of people here Where six degrees of separation applies to most of the world s inhabitants, in Iceland it is probably only one degree of separation Or zero This provides a great tool for crime and thriller writing as my plots tend to revolve around the minor and major clashes between people What better than to have everyone know, or know of, everyone else How hard would you fight to keep your ugliest secrets secret under such circumstancesWhy focus on the author in my review Because, on its face, there s nothing obviously special about the plot of The Legacy What makes The Legacy a great novel and successful crime suspense read is the way Sigurdardottir tells her story and her skill in telling it, which reflects the excerpted interview above In 1987, something horrific happens and, as a result, and three children are adopted by three different families Flash forward to 2015 and a doctor s spouse and mother of 3 is murdered in her own Reykavik home Unbeknownst to the killer, the young daughter, Margret, is under the bed during the murder and becomes a crucial witness for the police The doctor husband is out of town on business, and Margret is whisked to the Childrens House, for appropriate counseling and care The director of the Childrens House is Frejya.Detective Huldar, a nicotine chewing, single, smart but inexperienced, junior detective, leads the investigation Huldar recently met and gave a fake name to Frejya at a bar one evening, then snuck away from her apartment the following a.m without a note, text or goodbye This background makes for some additional tension throughout the novel, from the moment of Margret s initial interview about her observations on the night of the murder Other related murders occur There s a code none of the detectives can crack and no resources available to them to crack it It s soon apparent that the downside of having so few murders occur that a department lacks the resources or expertise to solve the ones that do But then Sigurdardottir creates a police department under stress, where the various players act authentically Margret acts and communicates in an age appropriate manner Frejya s back story a brother in jail and her house sitting both his apartment and his dog, Molly, in a sketchy area of town makes sense The code is delivered by radio to a trio of down on their luck twenty year old guys, one of whom, Karl, is particularly well written and sympathetic His friends act like twenty year old guys, not props to flesh out the quantity of possible suspects I didn t identify the killer until the same moment Huldar identified insert ambiguous pronoun here , which is a sign of success with any crime novel.Note that, while the gore is minimal, the killing scenes are so effectively written that they place the reader in the head of each victim, with full knowledge that escape is impossible Chilling is an understatement It s the opposite of torture porn, but still you may well want to skip ahead a few pages if you don t want to have those scenes embedded in your brain for some time The suspense was palpable from the first moment Karl heard a sound in his basement and it remained unexplained Odds are you ll stay up too late to read it, as I did As an aside, props to the publisher for inserting, upfront, a character and pronunciation list Given the crowded cast of characters and my desire to learn Icelandic pronunciations, I found this list especially helpful.Thanks to St Martin s Press and Net Galley for providing an e copy for my review.Note The second book in the series, The Reckoning, is scheduled to be released on March 22, 2018 and here s a link to a 2015 interview with Sigurdardottir.http scancan.net sigurthardottir1 Although I am a great fan of Scandinavian crime fiction, for some reason I had not yet read anything by Yrsa Sigurdardottir So, when I discovered she was starting a new series that I could read from the beginning, I thought it was an ideal to chance to read her at last and I am glad I did We begin with events in 1987 and decisions involving some traumatised children.The novel then turns to 2015 and the horrific murder of a woman, whose young daughter is the only witness The crime is investigated by the newly promoted Detective Huldar and his partner, Rikhardur Huldar suspects that his promotion could be something of a poisoned chalice if he fails to solve his first major inquiry and things get worse when he becomes uncomfortably reacquainted with Frejya, the director of the Children s House, who is familiar with Huldar from a previous meeting As the novel unfolds, we have a twisted killer and some very gruesome deaths made somehow even horrific by the use of mundane, household appliances There are some excellent characters and the sense of menace is very well done I thought this was a good introduction to a new series and I thought there were a good choice of possible suspects I really need to go back and re discover this author s past work as this is a great read for crime fans. Another banging good crime thriller from Yrsa Siguraordottir here Love that it will be a new series I was very fond of all the characters but boy it is not for the faint hearted with reference to the death scenes shudder Brilliant.Full review later at some point. I thoroughly enjoyed this slice of Nordic Noir It was a gripping thriller with plenty of twists and turns, red herrings and imaginative murder weapons I found the murder scenes themselves edge of seat frightening, but without being unnecessarily gory in their descriptions The characters, including children and young people, were well written and believable Yes, there were some amazing coincidences pulling the whole thing together but that is often par for the course to keep any mystery going This is the best thriller mystery I have read in a long time and I am pleased to hear that the second book in the series has been translated into English as I will definitely be keen to read from this author. Mystery in Minutes Overall Rating 4.5 5To read the complete review, please visit Best Crime Novel of the Year by the Icelandic Crime Authors Association, The Legacy is the first installment in the Children s House series, written by Iceland s Queen of Crime , Yrsa Sigurdardottir The Legacy is an intelligent, slow burning, character focused police procedural that methodically reveals layer upon layer of ingenious plotting involving cryptic, coded messages, dark family secrets, and some of the most creatively horrific methods of dispatching victims this reviewer has ever read Ms Sigurdardottir can certainly bring the frightening imagery with the best of them Mo Hayder, have you met Yrsa Sigurdardottir , and the very first chapter holds the reader in a vise grip as it describes, from the victim s POV, the petrifying minutes leading up to the killing The novel centers around this first murder of a young mother within her home One of her three children happens to be present, in hiding, during the mother s murder, and may hold the key to identifying the murderer, and solving the mystery Can child psychologist Freyja, and police officer Huldar for whom this is his first time leading a big case win this traumatized, young child s trust, and sensitively persuade her to open up about the nightmarish things that she heard and saw that fateful night And can Freyja and Huldar protect the only witness from a truly terrifying killer who is still at large For the answers to these questions, wrapped up in a twist you may never see coming, make The Legacy part of your crime fiction reading list The Legacy is the first book in the Children s House series and it s the first book I ve read by Yrsa Sigur ard ttir I ve actually read a couple of books by Sigur ard ttir since I finished this book and I find her books really good One thing I loved about this book and the rest I ve read by the author is that its setting is on Iceland Another thing I liked is the main characters psychologist Freyja and police officer Huldar who have to work together solving a murder case where a child is the only witness The murder was quite brutal and little Margret could also be in danger To make matter worse, Freyja and Huldar have a kind of past and they are not pleased that they have to work together, especially not Freyja But, for the sake of the child and to solve the case must they try to work together to find out why someone would want to kill the woman.I found the Legacy to be a very interesting book, especially that the answers were in the past I thought it was a great change that for once read about a child psychologist and Freyja s frosty relationship with Huldar was amusing, which was needed in an otherwise very dark book I especially liked the last part of the book when I started to realize the truth and when everything started to get a bit dangerous for Huldar The Legacy is a great crime novel and I m looking forward to reading the next book in the series Thanks HarperCollins Nordic for the review copy Ung Kona Er Myrt Hryllilegan H Tt Heimili S Nu A N Ttu Til Eina Vitni Er Sj Ra D Ttir Hennar Sk Mmu S Ar L Tur Mor Inginn Aftur Til Skarar Skr A Rad Amat R F R S Rkennileg Skilabo Ldum Lj Svakans Sem Tengja Hann Vi B I F Rnarl Mbin Ekkir Hann Hvorugt Eirra. Full review to come This is one fantastic series launch from Yrsa Sigurdardottir I will absolutely be coming back for of her Children s House books Layered, vivid, chilling, slow burning yet tense this is superb crime writing.