The Legacy

The Legacy
Translator: 
Year: 
2017
Publisher: 
Place: 
London
Author of Review: 

The Legacy

(DNA, 2014)

Here, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir kicks off a new series that focuses on the government agency known as the Children’s House; a special institution where child psychologists assist the police with interviewing children who have witnessed a crime or been victims of violence.

A series of grisly and unorthodox murders are committed in Reykjavík, with the murderer using a common domestic appliance in a disturbingly creative manner to lengthen victims’ suffering in their final moments. The murders seem elaborately planned and methodically carried out, but the police struggle to find any connection between the murder victims. Their only clue is the witness testimony of the young daughter of one of the victims, traumatised for life after witnessing her mother’s death.

Premeditated murder being a rarity in Iceland – and serial killers unheard of – Huldar, the recently promoted detective leading the investigation, knows that he is utterly out of his depth. Already struggling in his new position, his only hope of unmasking the killer and staying afloat in the political swamp of the police department is child psychologist Freyja, whose job it is to interrogate the unfortunate girl, doing her best to shield the child from further trauma. However, Freyja has her reasons for not holding Huldar in particularly high esteem.

The Legacy is the perfect “New Readers Start Here” book for anyone who has yet to experience Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s particular brand of Nordic Noir.