Voted 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!
Sexual Content: Mild
Explicit Language: Mild
Animal Cruelty: Mild
Thrilling Action: Mild
Red Herrings: Mild-to-Moderate
Twists and Turns: Moderate
Plot Development: Moderate-to-High
Character Development: Moderate-to-High
Pages: 464 (Hardcover)
The first in a stunning new series from the author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel.
The Legacy is the first installment in a fantastic new series featuring the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.
The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.
Newly-promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja for her expertise with traumatized young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.
It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues, but can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?
Best for Crime Fiction Readers:
- Who appreciate translated works of mystery and crime fiction in general, and "Nordic Noir", in particular. The translation of this novel by Victoria Cribb is excellent.
- Who enjoy dark, gritty police procedurals.
- Who enjoy, or don't mind, some romantic tension between characters in their crime fiction. There is just a whisper of it in The Legacy.
- Who enjoy crime fiction with "amateur detectives". There is a very clever subplot involving coded messages that ends up drawing one or more persons outside of law enforcement, and outside of The Children's House staff, into the book's central mystery.
- Who are interested in child psychology.
- Who don't mind reading about "creative" and not-for-the-faint-of-heart methods of inflicting harm. The acts themselves are not described in an overly graphic and/or gratuitous way. What makes them so horrifying is the combination of the methods and implements used, which the reader learns about after the fact, as well as the palpable terror of the victims, leading up to their demise.
- Who enjoy more "literary" crime fiction, full of internal musings and analysis. While the scenes of murder are gripping, and the denouement is very suspenseful, The Legacy may not be the best choice for those readers looking for a fast-paced roller coaster-of-a-thriller.
- Who appreciate crime fiction with twists in the tale. The resolution of The Legacy includes a shocking twist that this reviewer never saw coming!
MINM Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Are you new to Nordic and Scandinavian crime fiction? Have you read Yrsa Sigurdardottir before? Which of her other books would you especially recommend?
Mystery in Minutes would love to hear from you!
- Jan 8, 2019 Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Jan 8, 2019
- Jan 8, 2019 Happy 2019! Jan 8, 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 27, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton Oct 27, 2018
- Oct 17, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke Oct 17, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 A Quick Note To Authors, Publishers, And To My Readers: Oct 15, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 MINM Book Review: Button Man by Andrew Gross Sep 30, 2018
- Aug 31, 2018 YOU by Caroline Kepnes Book Review and Video Preview of the Series Adaptation Aug 31, 2018
- Aug 21, 2018 Book Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones Aug 21, 2018
- Aug 10, 2018 MINM Book Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman Aug 10, 2018
- Aug 1, 2018 MINM Review: A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay Aug 1, 2018
- Jul 22, 2018 MINM Review: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland Jul 22, 2018
- Jul 10, 2018 MINM Review: A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo Jul 10, 2018
- Jul 2, 2018 MINM Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager Jul 2, 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- Feb 23, 2018 MINM Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn Feb 23, 2018
- Feb 12, 2018 MINM Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir Feb 12, 2018
- Jan 31, 2018 MINM Review: Look For Me by Lisa Gardner Jan 31, 2018
- Jan 21, 2018 MINM Review: Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner Jan 21, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018 MINM Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor Jan 7, 2018
- Dec 17, 2017 MINM: Wishes our readers Happy Holidays with an excerpt from Magpie Murders Dec 17, 2017
- Dec 16, 2017 MINM Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz Dec 16, 2017
- Dec 5, 2017 MINM Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen Dec 5, 2017
- Nov 28, 2017 MINM Review: You Can Run by Steve Mosby Nov 28, 2017
- Nov 21, 2017 MINM: is Thankful Nov 21, 2017
- Nov 15, 2017 MINM Review: Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson Nov 15, 2017
- Nov 8, 2017 MINM Review: Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo Nov 8, 2017
- Nov 2, 2017 MINM Review: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge Nov 2, 2017
- October 2017
- Sep 26, 2017 MINM Review: Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin Sep 26, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Glass Houses by Louise Penny Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Unsub by Meg Gardiner Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Sep 24, 2017