Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Absolution: A Thriller” as Want to Read:
The Absolution: A Thriller
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Absolution: A Thriller

(Children's House #3)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,071 ratings  ·  167 reviews
The Absolution is the third installment in Queen of Icelandic crime fiction Yrsa Sigurdardttir's series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.

The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows a terrified young woman begging for forgiveness. When her body is found, it is marked with a number "2".

Detective Huldar
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Minotaur Books (first published 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Absolution, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andrea Ray I read somewhere that the Kindle version will release April 18 2019
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,071 ratings  ·  167 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Absolution: A Thriller
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, edelweiss2020
Content/Trigger warnings: bullying, cyberbullying, suicide attempts.

This is my first book witten by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, but it won't be the last. The topic of this well-plotted and well-written police procedural was dark and painful, but we still need to talk about it.

Sixteen-year-old Stella has just finished her shift working in the cinema. She lets her workmates know her boyfriend is coming to drive her home and they happily leave her in their hurry to catch their bus home. While Stella is
Lori Lamothe
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yrsa Siguroardottir may be my new favorite writer. Her latest book, The Absolution, is a brilliantly plotted, complex page turner that places her at the top of the Nordic noir authors. There is much to be said about this novel, but if I had to distill this review into a single word it would be this: layered. Yrsa's storyline, characters, descriptions – and even her setting – defy simple explanations. The further I read, the more I came to understand why she is touted as the queen of Icelandic ...more
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. (2019 in English, 2016 in Icelandic).
(Children's House/Freyja & Huldar, #3).

The police find out about the crime the same way everyone does: the horrific videos of the victim sent on Snapchat. When her body is found, it is marked with the number 2...
Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are part of the investigation and question the murdered teenager's friends. Soon it is clear that
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yrsa Sigurdardottir, the queen of Icelandic crime, is back with a spectacular bang in the third thriller in the superb Children's House series. This palpably tense page-turner can be read as a standalone as the plot of each instalment is self-contained, however, after picking up this one there's a good chance you'll feel the irresistible pull of the preceding books. Sigurdardottir knows how to craft a well written, chilling and suspenseful novel with a cast of beautifully drawn, intriguing ...more
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is on the top-3 of my all time best favorite Nordic Noir authors and I firmly believe that the Þóra Guðmundsdóttir book series is one of the finest exports of the genre in the last ten years or even more. Sadly, I find the new ''Children's House'' series to be weaker than the Thora novels and ''The Absolution'' confirmed my opinion for the third time. Personally, I think that the best book in this new series by the Yrsa Sigurðardóttir was the first one, titled ''Legacy'', ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another page turner from Ysra Sigurdardottir here, part of the “Children’s House” series but easily read as a standalone. This title is due in April though so plenty of time to catch up- all of these are utterly compelling.
This time the children in danger are not particularly loveable – the author takes on the bullying issue in this novel, with thought provoking layers to an incredibly immersive mystery.
As well as that we have more on the tangled interpersonal relationships of the main
Bruce Hatton
This is the third novel in the series featuring child psychologist, Freya and police officer, Hulda. It begins with the abduction and murder of a teenage girl by someone wearing a Darth Vader mask – the whole incident being videoed and posted on a website called Snapchat.
The whole novel centres around cyber-bullying and the more corrosive aspects of social media. Freya and Hulda are in a race against time to discover the identity of the killer before they strike again.
Although occasionally
Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf

Thank you so much to Minotaur Books for the gifted ARC of The Absolution! WOW was this book good There is truly nothing like an incredible Scandinavian crime novel and this one was everything I hoped it would be! This one is by far the best book in the Children’s House series and now I’m even more excited for the next book

What I really loved about this book was that it starts off crazy right from the beginning. Yrsa definitely doesn’t hold back when it comes to the gore, which I
I was a little surprised to see this series is supposed to revolve around Freya and Huldar and is part of a series. Although there were some references to things that happened 'before', the story didn't struck me as being part of a series. Now, however, I'm curious as to the first two books.
Huldar and Freya play a role in this book, but for me, not the biggest role. Strange as it may sound, I think the biggest role is this book is being played by the team as a whole, as they try and find the
Kirsty ❤️
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read all in this series so far but I was particularly intrigued this time with the murders centering around Snapchat. I don't have Snapchat. I don't want it. I was put off ever downloading it by a colleague who showed me how they can check up on what their friends and re doing and where they are just by looking up their app avatars. That terrifies me. In this book, the murders are 'announced' via Snapchat when the killer sends photos of the crime to everyone on the victims contact list. ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
Being an aficionado of Icelandic Noir, I’ve been keen to get my hands on this third installment of the Freya and Huldar series. I’ve read a fair few of Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s books and really enjoy her fast paced and edgy style. The theme of this book is teenage bullying, intermingled with the cyber space and the relentless nature of social media in perpetuating a 24/7 platform for bullies.

Sigurdardottir does a reasonable job in this regard and while her intent was not to write a book about
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Absolution” is another excellent book from Yrsa Sigurdardottir who is one of my favourite authors.
In the third book from the Children’s House series we are following Huldar and Freyja trying to catch a perpetrator who brutally kills teenagers before another young person is attacked. The author tackles an uncomfortable issue of the modern world - bullying and the damage it can cause and she covers it brilliantly from the different points of view.

This is an engaging and gripping book, full
Elaine Tomasso
I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of The Absolution, the third novel to feature Icelandic detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja.

When a video appears of teenager Stella being assaulted and abducted Huldar recruits Freyja to help interview her teenage friends. Initially there is no reason for the attack as Stella is portrayed as a lovely young woman but gradually a darker picture emerges. When a second teenager goes missing the team starts to
Yrsa Sigurdadottir’s Children’s House series was one of my favourite discoveries last year, and I have been hooked ever since. It is not for the faint of heart, seeing that Sigurdadottir is a masterful creator of unsettling and suspenseful storylines, and – as the name suggests – all books in the series concern children and young people.

I admit that this book was not easy reading. Tackling the sinister topic of bullying, it touched on every parent’s worst fears. They say that a parent is only
Hannah | The Redhead Reader
5 fantastic stars for this incredible book! This is definitely my favourite of the series so far, it was SO good. The plot and the pacing were just so well done and there were some true edge of your seat moments.

The crimes in this book dealt with social media which I found absolutely fascinating and something I would love to see more of in crime fiction. As is usual for this author, the murders in this book are graphic and gory but what I personally loved in this instalment was the motivations
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bullying in schools is a timeless problem. With the advent of social media, however, there are infinite ways to ruin a life: livestreaming, photo alterations, misinformation, sexual slander. One can even capture a murder in progress and its bloody aftermath.

A teenager, Stella, is one such bully. When her murder is shared with all her 'friends' the community is traumatized. Found with a #2 near her body and short hairs placed in her hand, the situation challenges the police force to apply their
Laura Rash
If I never wanted Snapchat before then I certainly don’t want it now. This is a dark story about bullying and adding the social media aspect. This is the 3rd in this series tho I think it could be read as a stand-alone unless you want more background on the recurring characters.
Katka Klíčová
The best detective story I have ever read ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Social media has taken over as a source of spreading news throughout the world. Now Icealandic police are finding it as a source for discovering a crime has occurred. Videos of a terrified young teenager are being spread across Snapchat, leaving those that have viewed the videos to wonder if the girl is alive or dead. The young teen’s body is eventually found. She has been marked with the number 2.

Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are paired up yet again to get to the bottom of
I really wanted to like this book because it is blurbed by Karin Slaughter, and she’s one of my favorite authors. I’m not sure why, but this book was a big disappointment to me. I liked the beginning parts about the crimes, but it went downhill.

Stella is taken from her job at a movie theater and murdered. There’s a 2 under her body, and no one knows what this means.

Hudlar is the detective assigned to the case, and there’s also Freyja, the child psychologist. Both are working from different
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the wonderful Children’s House series featuring Freyja and Huldar and it’s a real stunner of a read. I just love Scandinavia noir/crime and this series really has lived up to all expectations and got better and better. The plot deals with the issues of bullying and is complex and exceptionally well put together making for a book that is difficult to put down and I flew through it. The characters as always well written and believable, the ongoing relationship between ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yrsa Sigurdardottir is known as the Queen of, Icelandic Crime Fiction and this book proves why. This is by far the best book in this series, I cannot believe how good this one was guys. The police are finding out about crimes being committed the same way as the bystanders, via snapchat. The killer makes his victims beg for forgiveness, for what? they don't know and while he is doing this, he is sending snapchats out to their friends. What a friggen unique crime but is perfect for this ...more
Jill Lawson
Yrsa Sigurdardottir was labelled on the cover of "The Absolution" as "The Queen of Icelandic thriller writers" so I was hoping to find a new favourite author in this genre. But, no. The violence was expected so can't really be criticised (I'm good at skipping the worst) but what got me down was that ALL the characters were deeply unpleasant. The police were just about as stuffed-up as the villains - even the psychologist was pretty much a mess - and I understand these people feature in her other ...more
Kathleen Freeman
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iceland, mystery
I am a fan of this authors and this series. I like how the characters are not perfect they have flaws and issues. This story while hard to read in places was engaging and I like how the story unfolded. I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Mckenna | The Lady's Crime
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Publishing Date || 02.11.2020

It has been so long since I’ve read and loved a new Nordic Noir book and I am SO excited to tell you guys about Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s upcoming release, The Absolution. If you’re a lover of Lars Kepler like I am, I can assure you that you will fall in love with Yrsa’s writing style. The Absolution takes off with the craziness from the first page and you’re stuck on this wild ride until the very last sentence. One of the things I loved most about this book was
Mary Picken
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
There’s a reason Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is the Queen of Icelandic Noir. She loves to go dark and her books always feel contemporary amidst the Icelandic gloom . The Absolution is the third in her Children’s House series, though this book, like the others, can easily be read as a stand-alone.

Our protagonists, Freyja, a child psychologist and Huldur , a policeman, are still doing an uneasy dance around each other, following the less than perfect end to their one night stand some time ago.

This time,
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bjorg Hreinsdottir
Exciting but some of her older books are much better
Kristin (Always With a Book)
It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Nordic Noir and so of course all the Icelandic authors fall into that category. I was thrilled to run into Yrsa Sigurdardottir when I was at Bouchercon this past fall and she so kindly gave me a copy of her latest book in her Children's House series, knowing I am a big fan.

I love this series. It's dark and disturbing, as I find most Nordic Noir to be, yet I cannot get enough of it. While each of these books can be read as stand-alones, as the cases are
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars for this brilliant police procedural that is dark, layered, and beautifully written.

First I must say how surprised I am that I liked this book so much. I went into it not really expecting much because I'm not the biggest police procedural fan, but this book made a believer out of me. In its simplest form, this is police procedural, but I found it to be so much more than that. First off, the author is incredibly talented and even though this is a translation, I found it to be smooth,
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
English Translati...: Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Absolution 2 12 Jan 24, 2020 05:46PM  
English Translati...: Yrsa Sigurdardottir - The Absolution 1 5 Jan 23, 2020 02:08PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Drungi (Hidden Iceland #2)
  • Búrið
  • Kold Angst
  • Motiv X (Fabian Risk, #4)
  • Unbarmherzig (Gina Angelucci, #2)
  • The Chestnut Man
  • Det innerste rommet (William Wisting, #13)
  • Gutten som elsket rådyr (Holger Munch & Mia Kruger #3)
  • Silvervägen
  • Der Fund: Thriller
  • Offrens offer
  • Knife (Harry Hole, #12)
  • Zimmer 19: Thriller (Tom Babylon-Serie 2)
  • Netið
  • Jeg skal savne deg i morgen (Thorkild Aske, #1)
  • Stormvarning
See similar books…
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

Children's House (6 books)
  • DNA (Children's House, #1)
  • Sogið (Children's House, #2)
  • Gatið (Children's House, #4)
  • Brúðan (Children's House, #5)
  • Þögn (Children's House, #6)