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My Soul to Take

(Þóra Guðmundsdóttir #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  5,839 ratings  ·  372 reviews
If I die before I wake ...A grisly murder is committed at a health resort situated in a recently renovated farmhouse, which turns out to be notorious for being haunted. Attorney Thora Gudmundsdottir is called upon by the owner of the resort -- the prime suspect in the case -- to represent him. Her investigations uncover some very disturbing occurrences at the farm decades ...more
Kindle Edition, 468 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Hodder (first published 2006)
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Luz Yes. She revisits things that have happened in previous books. You won't be lost.
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Thora Gudmundsdottir has some problems. To wit they include (a) her son got his girlfriend pregnant (b) her two children hate spending time with their father (her e husband) because he plays the Icelandic version of Guitar Hero too much, (c) her secretary (d) her relationship with Matthew and, finally, (e) her client who is charged with a murder and who is considering legal action about a land deal because the place might be haunted.

Iceland is apparently like England in this regard.

The ghost
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0 out of 5 stars -- A chilling and absorbing read -- Nordic noir.

The second book in this series featuring the lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir and her lover, Matthew Reich, is just as absorbing and interesting as the first. The setting is modern day Iceland, almost a character in itself, with its uniqueness and history. In this mystery, Thora is asked to represent the owner of a New Age spa and resort who wants to sue the previous owners who he claims misrepresented the old farmstead and sold him a
Luisa Fer
I chose this book because the writer is Icelandic. I'm on a European author streak. I'm choosing to read a book by an author of each european country and even though I'm not choosing the obvious, I tend to find good reviews and recommendations.
I read a review about "Ashes to dust" which was published in English this August, and the reviewer was very enthusiastic about her.

Unfortunately this book was disappointing. I ploughed through it because the central intrigue was well conceived but nothing
I wish I liked this series of books more than I do. But I remembered, as I read this novel, that I felt the same ambivalence about the first one. After thinking it over for a while, I realized that I just don't connect to the main character, Thora. I don't care about her. Its like the author looked at other successful Scandinavian fiction and just created a checklist: Divorced? Check! Problematic ex-spouse? Check! Kids being challenging? Check! Foreign love interest that she's not sure about? ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since I “discovered” Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s books a year ago when I picked up the Children’s House series, I have been steadily reading my way through all her previous books and absolutely loving each and every one of them. MY SOUL TO TAKE was no exception, and I look forward to reading all the others in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series.

I am happy to say that this books contains all the elements that I love so much in Sigurdardottir’s writing – there is the hallmark remote atmospheric
Well for me the best part of the book was the iceland descriptions of the landscape. I could really picture the beach and fog with a dead whale carcass smell and a dead body! I didn't really care for the main character, Thora. She is a lawyer but acts like a detective but then she is full of side issues, with her kids, the ex, and Matthew. I guess I wouldve preferred the story centered more on the actual mystery.
Prepare to be spooked and chilled in Iceland’s chilly landscape…..

Booktrail with map: Booktrail of My Sould to Take

Place and setting

The Snæfellsnes is also known as Iceland in Miniature, because many national sights of Iceland that are popular and well known are actually located here including the Snæfellsjökull volcano. You can see it quite clearly fro the capital city Reykjavik on a good day and another exciting fact – its the setting of the novel Journey to the Centre of The Earth by Jules
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Soul To Take
By Yrsa Siguroardottir
Translated by Bernard Scudder & Anna Yates
William Morrow

Set in modern day Iceland, in this absorbing page turner Thora Gudmundsdottir is a lawyer hired to represent the owner of a New Age spa and resort who wants to sue the previous owner because they feel the place is haunted and were not told. Thora immediately leaves for a stay at the spa and is drawn into a murder investigation of the owner, Jonas, accused of the murder of an architect. The
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see the comparisons to Agatha Christie - a whole host of credible suspects. This is a tightly woven plot, but found the writing quite clunky in parts, perhaps the translation. Towards the end, too much exposition in dialogue. But hey, I enjoyed it!
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Bridget Jones and Nancy Drew
Shelves: 2013, bookcrossing
Iceland's perhaps best known accidental detective, Thora, investigates ghosts and two deaths in a holistic spa in the rural Ireland.
World, or those who missed Last Rituals, meet Thora: a single mum and lawyer, 40ish, who is definitely not your standard alcoholic loose cannon detective. Imagine an adult Nancy Drew... a single mum Nancy Drew who's much more a 40 year old Bridget Jones (charm, clumsy awkward things she says, thinks, wears, and does)... gone Angela Lansbury. With her, like in the
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan. Reading them out of order, I come back to #2 in the Thora series. This one is "away from home" and Thora's client has trouble after a large land sale. They want recompense in value; the site of their spa hotel seems haunted.

But that's not the crux of difficulty, unless a ghost is killing people. Thora has also managed to escape from Mom duty and kinder nurturing- well, at least for a couple of days. Hannes (ex-husband) will fill in. NOT!

Others will think these slow and rather staid.
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Hearing babies cry in the fog and shadowy images of young girls in mirrors can be chalked up to skittish nerves and flights of fancy, not ghosts, as far as Thora Gudmundsdottir, single mother and attorney at law is concerned. Her client, Jonas, on the other hand is a true believer and he has promised her an all expenses paid indulgent weekend at his New Age resort if she will come and see these supernatural occurrences for herself.

She travels to the newly renovated health resort that was
Rebecca Martin
My feeling about this book: What the heck is everyone so excited about? I read several very positive reviews of the book, but I found it extremely hokey and old-fashioned and the writing....well, I can't take Sigurdardottir to task because I have no idea what the original prose is like, so let me just complain about the atrocious translation instead. I recall having the same feelings about this author's earlier novel, Last Rituals. The prose is flat and only rises in interest when the choice of ...more
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
I thought that Last Rituals was overly sensational and found some of the occult religious references to be over the top, but I liked the main characters, Thora and Matthew. My Soul to Take is a more traditional mystery story and the references to the occult and supernatural have rational explanations at the end. I am looking forward to the rest of the books in this series.
Mary Catherine Pace
I'm giving this one another star. This is the second novel from author Yrsa Sigurdardóttir. This outing of the Icelandic lawyer with the difficult name and more difficult personality is actually more readable than the first. The author may have found a better editor; at any rate, her skill at storytelling and pacing have markedly improved. Authorial prowess aside, the story is quite interesting, with lots of strange characters and a New Age tourist spa in a remote seaside area to focus on all ...more
Louis Skye
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I am obsessed with Yrsa's books. I love the way she builds the mystery and suspense.

Even though this is one of her slower books and the body count is quite low, it is still an absolute page-turner.

Yrsa's protagonist Thora is a lawyer and hence she avoids the follies of a police procedural. Thora does seem like a bit of a busy body, though. She isn't the most appealing of characters but still manages to be interesting. There is also less fat-shaming of Thora's secretary here so that
I still really like this series, but dear god, this book needed an edit. I just thought we could have had a shorter, snappier version of the story. While enjoying the ride, I do get annoyed when I start thinking, do we really need to be here still?

And also, Thora (Þóra) really needs to brush up on her forensic law. There were parts of this book which were just uncomfortable for me to read due to the complete disregard Thora took to forensics that were possibly compromising her clients.

This is a terrific series. Thora is a lawyer and a single mother with a son and a daughter. In the previous book, she meets Matthew, a German investigator and security expert. They form a relationship and together they investigate the crimes that fall in their path. This time, she's helping a hotel owner sue the sellers of the property because they failed to disclose the place was haunted, which is very damaging to the New Age leanings of the new hotel.

Then a murder, a brutal rape and killing of
Great story once again, not as spookily scary as other novels by Yrsa but still with enough twists and turns that I really didn't know who-dun-it until the end, which is just what you want from a good mystery
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't like this one at all and even took to skimming towards the end, but she gets a star for good prose style. If you are ok with that sort of silly, burlesque humor (such as Ruth Rendell, for example, can get into -- someone I know describes it as 'tongue in cheek'), then you may like this one just fine. Unfortunately, it drives me crazy. So that was part of the problem. There were dopey gags like her 15 yo son walking out of his father's house with his 8 yo sister and his ...more
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suppose, being Icelandic, that it can be said the author comes from that school of Scandinavian writers who have blossomed in the world of crime writing in recent years. However, she has a style which is her own, and should not be pigeonholed so simply.

Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a writer of both children's books and crime fiction. This is her second crime novel, using her main character, lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir, although it is the first I have read.

The story of My Soul to Take begins in
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Those of you who read my review for the first book in the series, do you remember me saying that the series ought to get better and better?

I was mistaken. The second book in the series was weaker than the first one. It didn't grab my attention like the first one did. It was a lot easier to put down. I didn't particularly care for the murder mystery... Although I have to admit that the murderer wasn't that very easy to guess and that is a plus point.

The heroine Thora... I liked her more in the
Toni Osborne
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series

This Icelandic crime novel is a thrilling read, an array of intricately woven plots unravelling slowly and mysteriously. A novel that has all the essential elements to peak the reader's interest leaving him somewhat spellbound.

The story brings lawyer Thora Gudmindsdottir to a recently developed health resort to gather information regarding the newly converted farmhouse. Her client Jonas purchased the propriety earlier and now believes the sellers
3.5 stars would be more appropriate. I like Yrsa's books. The first chapter was really scary and sad at the same time. Then the scary part evaporated in spite of the ghost line of the story. That was the biggest drawback. I must agree with with a review I read on, that the attention is focused more on Thóra - the "detective" and not on the personages responsible for the crime so the story lacks more insight as the background is percieved through Thóra's eyes only. What I ...more
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book by the author to be translated from Icelandic to English. If you've never been to Iceland, then enjoy the realistic characters and the well developed story line (murdered woman/New Age Health Resort). If you've been to Iceland, or wish some day to visit, then dive in to the vivid descriptions of the Snaefellsness Peninsula and the belief in the supernatural. It is worth your while to start with the first book - Last Rituals - then read My Soul to Take. Then move onto the ...more
Dilushani Jayalath
Another chilling mystery by Yrsa Sig. I am so excited for this one.


My predictions were true. Another totally awesome thriller by one of the best mystery crime author Yrsa Sig. This like the before of this series had small time lawyer Thora solving another crime relating to one of her client alongside her on and off lover Mathew. It was not disappointing at all. Awesome book with a good plot base in Iceland. Only problem how she kept ignoring or more like not caring about her children who
Judith Teggelaar
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A couple of brutal murders take place, but there was only a hint of ghostly apparitions. I liked the main character, Thora, and that helps me to like a story. She was strong-willed but compassionate, too. The author is icelandic but you would never realize it except for the odd icelandic names.
Ann Single
What's not to like about crime fiction set in Iceland. I was surprised to accurately guess the murderer and didn't find the humour terribly humourless, but it has the makings of a pleasurable series.
Karen Fellows
This novel begins with one of the most chilling prologues I have come across in recent years: the murder of a four year old child, from the child's point of view.

Unfortunately, that prologue is the high point of the book. It's all downhill from there.

The prologue is set in 1945. When the main plot kicks in we are in the present (2006). The protagonist, Thora, is a lawyer who is invited to visit a new-age spa/hotel run by one of her clients. She arrives just in time for the requisite murders and
Denise Mullins
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thora Gudmundsdottir is a most irresponsible mother and lawyer with dubious ethics in addition to being abrupt, insensitive, and known to frequently insinuate herself into police matters for which she is highly unqualified. However, with that said, her character, while totally unconventional and egregiously flawed, forms the foundation for a quirky fast paced thriller involving several gruesome unsolved crimes set in rural Iceland.
Similar to the first novel of the series, an eerie murder from
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Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic writer, of both crime-novels and children's fiction. She has been writing since 1998.
Her début crime-novel "Last Rituals" published in the US in 2007, and the UK in January 2008 was translated into English by Bernard Scudder, and is book 1 of the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir graduated from high-school in 1983, finished a B.Sc. in civil

Other books in the series

Þóra Guðmundsdóttir (6 books)
  • Last Rituals (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #1)
  • Ashes to Dust (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #3)
  • The Day is Dark (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #4)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #5)
  • The Silence of the Sea (Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, #6)
“Strong is the bond that draws men back to the soil their fathers ploughed,” 0 likes
“Faith in the power of the glacier goes way beyond Iceland—people flocked here from all over the world to welcome aliens from outer space just before the turn of the century.” 0 likes
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