A Freya and Huldar Thriller
Hodder & Stoughton 2018
The premise for nordic noir thriller The Reckoning by Iceland’s Yrsa Sigurdardottir is great. A note written by a schoolboy and put in a time capsule predicts the death of 6 different people ten years later (the back of the dust jacket says thirteen years later). This is enough to get the attention of the police who put disgraced Inspector Huldar on the case. Kindle at Amazon: The Reckoning: Children’s House Book 2
It is not really enough to keep an impatient reader’s attention. The first complete body shows up on page 130, the second on page 316, and you just keep wishing the killer would get in with it already. The hands of another corpse do appear early on and the feet some time later.
The Reckoning is the second Yrsa Sigurdardottir novel featuring Inspector Huldar and his now ex-girlfriend social worker Freya. You do not need to be familiar with The Legacy, the first book in the series, to enjoy this one. It probably helps though as a lot of this thriller is focused on Freya and Huldar’s relationship and feelings following events in The Legacy to the detriment of the main plot in the second thriller
Things do pick up in the last seventy or so pages as the killer seems to finally get focused. If you are the kind of reader who likes to do the sleuthing along with the main character nothing aside from a very minor scene or two allows the reader to have suspicions other than what Huldar and the police’s are.
The Reckoning does follow the tropes of the Nordic noir genre where the seedy underbelly seemingly homogeneous and attractive nordic, in this case Icelandic society is revealed. I reckon however The Reckoning lacks the tension and darkness of successful thrillers in this genre.