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The Undesired

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  1,628 ratings  ·  200 reviews
The light spilling in from the corridor would have to do. Though weak, it was sufficient to show Aldís a boy sitting in the gloom at the furthest table. He had his back to her, so she couldn't see who it was, but could tell that he was one of the youngest. A chill ran down her spine when he spoke again, without turning, as if he had eyes in the back of his head. 'Go away. ...more
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published November 1st 2012)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,628 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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Crime by the Book
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Find my full review at:

This book is everything I hoped for and MUCH more. Atmospheric, spine-tinging suspense in the form of a slow-burning mystery. Absolutely loved it!!
This novel is a standalone story, not related to the author's Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. If you read the blurb for this English translation, the plot is outlined in a manner that heavily suggests it has a horror slant; in this it appears more similar to another standalone book of the author's, I Remember You, than her crime novels. In fact, it has nowhere near as much horror in it as I Remember You, and is nowhere near as scary, but it's also much tighter and more coherent.

There are two stran
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Undesired begins with Odinn and his daughter trapped in a running automobile slowly being overcome with the fumes leaving a reader to wonder just who this pair is and what brought them to that moment. Going back to find out those answers we learn that Odinn had lost his wife and has been left to raise his young daughter alone.

At that point Odinn takes a new job to look into a former residential home for boys to see if there had possibly been any kind of abuse. As Odinn is looking into the p
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shopping-list
This is an incredible story about historic child abuse that is suspected and an official report is commissioned to investigate. By establishing the known facts the authorities would see if any survivors were due compensation.
This plot outline then is established in the author,Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and she writes a multi-faceted horror story; so well paced and intriguing with unexplained circumstances, unease and foreboding it is hard to unravel the mystery and see reality rather than the supernatu
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 3.5 out of 5 stars ***

The Undesired is the first book by this author that I have read, I went in to it not knowing what to expect.

The story in this book begins with an ending of sorts, a man and his young daughter are trapped in a car slowly asphyxiating. By doing this, the author has ensured that the audience are captive, instantly hooked by wondering who these people are, why there are there, what has lead to this monumental moment. There are two strands of story in this book, the first fo
Jon Recluse
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An investigation into alleged abuses that took place in a juvenile detention center in rural Iceland during the 1970s hint at possible deadly repercussions in the present for the single father tasked with looking into the matter...ones that may have already struck close to home.
Sigurdardottir expertly alternates this current investigation with the story of a young woman working in the detention center when these abuses took place, a tale of mysterious goings-on that hint at a supernatural source
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lecturas-2018
Sigurdardóttir nos narra la novela en dos tiempos distintos. Por un lado el de Aldis trabajando en el internado; y por otro, el de Odín con sus problemas familiares y su investigación sobre posibles abusos.

Estas historias, claro está, acabarán siendo una sola cuyo desenlace, es muy perturbador y angustioso y que me dejó boquiabierta.

Los indeseados es un thriller hiriente y enérgico que aúna misterio, investigación y una ambientación amenazadora desde la primera hasta la última página. La islande
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, dark-tales
An Icelandic tale with a touch of paranormal about the suspicious death of two children in a care home in the desolate wasteland of Iceland. When 40 odd years later there is an new investigation in the care homes that took in juvenile delinquents after a series of scandals. At first the main protagonist is asked to look in the case of one particular care home because the previous investigator had died before finishing.
It is a bleak story with little or no moments of true excitement of darkness.
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
3 1/2 stars

My View:
A very topical theme – the historic abuse of children in care – mixed with a little mystery/superstition/ hint of the paranormal/horror but in the end this intriguing narrative delivers a very powerful, of this world evil, that you just won’t see coming!

The beginning has a very seductive but sad emotional hook – we are privy to the end of Odin and his daughter’s life (no spoilers here), then we are introduced via flashbacks and various view points to a lives in a children’s h
Trigger warnings: death, asphyxiation, death of a spouse, death of an infant, seriously there's a lot of death.

3.5 stars.

I've read quite a few of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books now, and they always seem to straddle the line between thriller and paranormal/horror stories. They're generally compelling and fast paced, and this one was no exception. It alternated between the 1970s and the present day, and there were plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming.

That said, there were times when
This was slow going but I stuck with it. It never really picked up, I just got used to the pace. It was pretty clever and the reveal was a complete surprise. I liked the Icelandic setting and all the Icelandic names. A strong 3 star book.
Ken Fredette
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thought that this was a really dark book, don't particularly like this kind of story. It seemed to take on an other dimension as we got into the book. The girl is evil itself.
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, crime, horror
Falling between two stools...

As the book begins, a man and his young daughter are in the last stages of asphyxiation in his car. How did they get there? Who has done this to them? The story takes the reader back into the past to answer these questions. Odinn's life was turned upside down a few months previously when his ex-wife fell from a window and died, leaving him with the responsibility for his young daughter, Rún. Until then he had been a weekend father, fond of his daughter but leading th
Deliciously creepy standalone by one of my favorite authors! With hints of paranormal activity and the stark Icelandic setting, this mystery/thriller was impossible to put down so I read it cover to cover in a single sitting. It's dark, chilling and twisted and I really liked the story.

The opening of the novel sets the stage for the backstory -- a man and his 11-year-old daughter are slowly asphyxiating in a car in a garage. Who has done this to them, and why? Odinn and Run (accents missing) had
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller-mystery
Loved it! Review to come soon
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Nachdem gelungenen "Geisterfjord" wollte ich unbedingt mehr von der Autorin lesen - hatte mir hier aber definitiv mehr erwartet.

Die Spannung hat leider oft gefehlt und es war auch nicht gruselig oder nervenaufreibend! Die beiden Handlungsstränge aus der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit waren allerdings gekonnt aufeinander aufgebaut und ich hab doch mitgefiebert, wie diese beiden Geschichten zusammenhängen könnten.

Óðinn war für mich ein eher unspektakulärer Charakter. Er arbeitet in einer staatli
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not fond of ghost stories, but if Yrsa weaves one, I'll try it. And what a joy it turned out to be! Cleverly plotted, with a tension-building dual narrative moving between 1974 and the present day, and more twists and turns and surprises (and unexplained detail) than your average suspense novel, this story builds lung capacity in the final third as gasp is followed by gasp. I would still advise readers to start with Last rituals, and to look forward to The silence of the sea as her best book ...more
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a point in this book when you HAVE to keep reading to finish it. This author is a master in keeping chills running up the reader's spine in each chapter, beginning with placing the end of the story at the beginning. The reader is immediately engaged to find out what led to this situation. The reader knows that the two stories set in different time periods will lead to the resolution, and the author weaves the stories together most effectively.
The two main characters appear to be quite
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
I have recently read The Reckoning, which is #2 in The Children’s House series of novels. I have also read and absolutely LOVED, why did you lie? So, I was intrigued to read Sigurdardottir’s back catalogue of novels. This novel appealed to me, due to its themes of juvenile detention and eerie/horror thrills. I like a good scare occasionally. I actually put this down at one point, reading alone at night as it began to freak me out! So, when it says it has eerie moments, it is not lying!

‘Someone a
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado pero no me ha encantado. Demasiada "paja" para mi gusto. Descripciones muy extensas que me han hecho perder el interés. El último 25% engancha, indiscutiblemente, y no puedes parar de leer, pero hasta llegar a ese punto... me ha costado.
El caso es que está muy bien la trama, la historia contada a dos tiempos para enlazarse al final, las sospechas, los personajes... pero tanta extensión en detalles sin importancia, me han aburrido.

Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book starts at the (almost) end of the story – two people trapped in a car barely conscious, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a good start since obviously, as the story proper begins on the next page, I am already hooked wanting to find out the who, what, where, when and why of the whole thing.

Odinn’s days as an occasional weekend dad are over. With the accidental (or maybe not?) death of his ex-wife he now has sole responsibility for his daughter’s care. Although he embraces
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books-read
AUTHOR Sigurdardottir, Yrsa
TITLE: The Undesired
DATE READ: 03/01
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction/ 2015 / Hodder & Stoughton / 353 pgs
CHARACTERS Odinn/ single father Run/ his daughter
TIME/PLACE: Present / Iceland
FIRST LINES Odinn Hafsteinsson missed the heft of a hammer in his hand, missed taking aim, raining down blows on a four-inch galvanised nail.
COMMENTS: Really enjoyed this one & will read more by this author. Odinn used to work f
Andy Weston
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
As a big Sigurdardottir fan I was quite disappointed by this. I had thought she was at her best writing about crime with a tinge of the supernatural, or part ghost story, but here she has failed to fulfil that promise. I Remember You is her strongest book for me, but all have been very good, 4-5 stars.

The story here centres around a children's home in the 1970's and has a dual time line running to the modern day. The setting therefore isn't particularly special and different, having just read T
Bruce Hatton
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: icelandic-crime
Another engrossing and chilling novel from this highly accomplished Icelandic author. The chapters alternate between a current-day investigation into abuse at a children's home in the 1970s and an account of life at the home as told by a young female cleaner.
As the two stories unfold they also converge and the lead investigator finds himself in a highly compromising position. The twists and turns in the plot over the final chapters would do Jeffery Deaver proud.
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein ruhiges Buch, das dennoch spannend zu lesen ist. Und die Rückblicke haben mich immer an den schwedischen Film "Evil" von der Kulisse und dem Feeling erinnert :3
Agnieszka T.
Nooo, to Yrsa pozamiatała, muszę przyznać, że totalnie wywiodła mnie w pole!
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as creepy as some of the others... But I did feel a chill!
Morgan Dhu
I read this book in translation, in English, but since Goodreads doesn’t seem to have an entry for the translation, I’m recording it under the entry for the original.

In The Undesired, Yrsa Sigurdardottir demonstates once again that she is a master of a very particular genre, the eerie, part crime, part horror novel.

The Undesired opens with the death of the main character, Odinn. He is intoxicated, brain overwhelmed by carbon dioxide, half-aware that he and his daughter are sitting in a running
Louis Skye
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yet another Yrsa Sigurdardottir novel I loved!

This standalone book is set in two time frames - present day and 1974. In the present, single father Oddin is trying to bring up his daughter Run following a tragic accident that killed her mother 6 months ago. Oddin is also taking on the case load of a fellow worker who died of a heart attack. The case is a cold case related to the deaths of two teenagers at a care home. But, unbeknownst to Oddin, this old case will leave its mark in him.

Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uno-challenge
4.5 stars.

This is definitely a creepy thriller that grabs you from the start (The End!).

The book begins with a scene that is actually the finale of the book and then the story itself takes you through the events that lead up to this dramatic conclusion.

Odinn is a single father trying to raise an 11 year old daughter after a tragedy claims the life of his ex-wife. Doing his best to provide a life of stability, Odinn takes a new job and puts his daughter Run into therapy. After the death of a coll
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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 engin
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“Ódinn couldn't tear his gaze from the small featured face, the red cheeks and delicate lips that she pursed shut as if to ensure she wouldn't say anything to disappoint her father.” 0 likes
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