ABOUT THE BOOK
It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.
They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.
Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.
What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.
Taut, terrifying and impossible to put down, The Doll cements Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s reputation as a master of storytelling tension and surprise.
I thought that I would be brave reading this book as I have always had a fear of dolls from being a little girl. Believe me, after reading this book, that fear feels very real now!
While out on a small fishing boat with her mother and the owner of the boat, a young girl manages to snare a very sea beaten doll and persuades her mother to let her keep it. That night the girl’s mum dies mysteriously, and the doll goes missing. The story takes on different directions as it follows a young couple working in Spain to camping in Iceland before disappearing. Again it shoots off to a case of child abuse. The stories have no relevant connections.
It is the fifth book in the Freyja and Huldar series, and I have to say here that it is my first one. I was amused at the relationship that these two had, as Huldar was more than a little skittish where Freyja was concerned. I got the feeling early on that she likes to wind this guy up whenever she could.
I did feel at times a little taken aback at how these individual stories come to an abrupt end without having any answers before moving on to a new group of people and a very different path. They all come together, and I am not sure if it was because they were left without an end or not, but I didn’t forget how each had concluded at the time. It is quite a wicked read that brought everything to a conclusion, but left me a nervous wreck.
I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yrsa Sigurdardottir is an award-winning, best-selling crime novelist from Iceland. She began her career writing humorous novels for children but made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first installment in the Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. Her novels have been translated to 35 languages and in the UK she is published by Hodder. Her work stands “comparison with the finest contemporary crime writing anywhere in the world” according to the Times Literary Supplement.
In addition to several stand-alone thrillers Yrsa has embarked on a new series featuring policeman Huldar and child psychologist Freyja. The first book in this series is The Legacy, published by Hodder UK in 2017, followed by the second installment The Reckoning in 2018. The Legacy received the Icelandic Crime book of the year award when it came out and went on to win the Danish prize for best translated crime fiction the following year. In 2015 Yrsa received the UK Petrona Award for best Scandinavian crime novel for Silence of the Sea.
A movie based on her standalone horror novel, I Remember You was premiered in 2017, while adaptation of the Thóra series for English language television is underway.
Yrsa is also a civil engineer and still works as such on geothermal and hydro power plant projects in her native Iceland.