This is the second novel in Yrsa’s series about the Children’s House; a government agency that employs child psychologists who work with the police to safely interview children who have witnessed violent crimes or experienced trauma and abuse.
In The Reckoning, Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja have both suffered professional setbacks after the unfortunate events of The Legacy – the first book in the series. The disgraced Huldar has become the precinct ghost, passed over by the powers that be and ridiculed by his fellow officers. Too make matters worse, Freyja still harbours a deep resentment against him, despite his valiant efforts to win her over. To her dismay, the two are thrust together once more when a local primary school unearths a time capsule, an old school project, which contains a violent message for the future. The two must uncover the long-buried violence that laid the seeds of hate that have blossomed and thrived while the capsule lay undisturbed in the ground. They discover a connection to the murder of a young girl that took place around when the capsule was first sealed, and it turns out that the man convicted of the crime has completed his sentence and is back on the street.
As before, Huldar and Freyja’s banter and will-they-won’t-they energy acts as a nice counterbalance to the series dark theme of crimes against children and the rage and reckoning of adult survivors.