Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

The Reckoning

Children’s House series (book 2)

This book is included in The Icelanders Cometh crowdfunding campaign run by the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to raise money for UK libraries to spend on titles translated into English by Icelandic authors to mark World Book Night and UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.


A chilling note predicting the deaths of six people is found in a school’s time capsule, ten years after it was buried. But surely, if a thirteen-year-old wrote it, it can’t be a real threat …

Detective Huldar suspects he’s been given the investigation simply to keep him away from real police work. He turns to psychologist Freyja to help understand the child who hid the message. Soon, however, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.

For the discovery of the letter coincides with a string of macabre events: body parts found in a garden, followed by the murder of the man who owned the house. His initials are BT, one of the names on the note.

Huldar and Freyja must race to identify the writer, the victims and the murderer, before the rest of the targets are killed …


The Reckoning is another chilling, atmospheric tale from the undisputed Queen of Icelandic Noir. I loved it.’ Simon Kernick, author

‘There’s no waffle in The Reckoning: it is brutal, baroque and ends with a brilliant last-minute twist.’ Evening Standard

‘Sigurðardóttir just keeps getting better and better.’ Publishers Weekly

‘One of the best books I’ve read for a long time: dark, creepy, and gripping from beginning to end.’ Stuart MacBride, author

‘This is a perfectly dark mystery that will keep you guessing with every page turn, have you hoping beyond hope for a positive outcome, all the time fearing the worst, leaving you in shock and awe at the end. Shock from the sheer clinical nature of the killer on these pages and in awe of the skill that Yrsa Sigurðardóttir has to create such a brilliant piece of writing.’ Jen Lucas, Sharing the Book Love

‘It’s addictive, bleak, and will give you thrills and chills in equal measures.’ Cosmopolitan Magazine

‘Yrsa Sigurðardóttir has with her large-scale and genuinely intelligent stories attempted to find the core of Iceland’s distinctive society, and thus pushed the Icelandic crime novel tradition many steps forward.’ Arne Dahl, author

‘Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s incredible gift of mixing the macabre and the poignant, together with the astute observations of the ordinary life, sprinkled with a dark sense of humour, keeps on giving in buckets. Her imagination knows no bounds, turning the most ordinary objects into deadly weapons … The nuanced writing encompasses the thriller’s overwhelming sense of doom as it explores the failings of the society to protect victims.’ Crime Review

‘Sigurðardóttir’s The Reckoning is guaranteed to give you goosebumps. In a story both gruesome and heart-wrenching, Sigurðardóttir weaves a masterful mystery that belongs on the bookshelf of every Scandinavian crime fiction reader.’ Crime by the Book

‘A dark story by a brilliant author. A densely plotted, multifaceted and compelling book. Exceeds most novels in the thriller genre.’ Erik Axl Sund, author

‘More evidence of the author’s gift for establishing a web so dark and deep-laid that it hardly matters which particular spider wove it.’ Kirkus Reviews