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The Absolution

(Children's House #3)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,921 ratings  ·  371 reviews
The Absolution is the third installment in Queen of Icelandic crime fiction Yrsa Sigurdard�ttir'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 j
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Minotaur Books (first published 2016)
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Andrea Ray I read somewhere that the Kindle version will release April 18 2019

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  2,921 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss2020, 2020
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 wa
Diane S ☔
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelter in place and social distancing has at times left me unable to concentrate. I think we are all turning to different, comfort read. Mine seem to be mysteries. Seems strange I know, since there are deaths, but in a strange way I find it comforting that by books end the case is solved. No open ended dates, or waiting to see what comes next, unless of course there is a sequel.

Anyway, this mystery is set in Iceland and I love these Nordic settings. It also ties together nicely done current the
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 cr ...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 Stel
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 chara ...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'', whi ...more
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 ki
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 showi
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 protagoni
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
Maja Ingrid
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, audiobooks
Why do these books take so long being translated to Swedish? Publishers better be faster with the fourth book
Another 4 star read for me. Possibly slightly on the lower end of a four than the previous two books, but still really really good!

I enjoyed this third instalment in the Huldar and Freyja, Children's house series. It focused around bullying and the social media platform Snapchat. I've never had anything to do with Snapchat, I think it is for the cool kids!? :) But what I gather, from this book, and the dudes in my family, is that you can send pictures to people you know, that disappear once the
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 feel
M.  [storme reads a lot]
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 angle
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 bully
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. Yea ...more
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoy Ms Sigurdadottir's books, have read several of them. This one, though gets only a three-star rating, or C+ from me. It moved right along, the characters were interesting, but the MC of the series, Freyja, a psychologist, was relegated to second tier, IMO. We seldom saw much of her.

A teenage girl is murdered, then a boy. What do they have in common, and the usual: who, why, how? The police involved in the investigation have complex back stories in the way they are inter-related, and here'
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
Kathryn in FL
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, abandoned
DNF - I had no idea that this would be so incredibly graphic. I couldn't stomach it and so I am not necessarily a good source of a review. If horror is your "scene", this may be a good choice but I feel really put-off that it wasn't promoted with this focus. I've read violent books but this is so extreme. ...more
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 ev
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and 1 / 2 stars

Stella works at a local movie theater. When she is horribly murdered while closing alone at work, the number “2” is found under her body. Does this mean there is a number “1?”

Detective Huldar joins the investigation. Huldar is not popular at the station, either with his colleagues or his boss Erla. He works with a fairly new partner named Gudlaugur who is terribly shy, but has the makings of a good copper.

The police go through the security camera recordings and the ticket sales
No rating. The book -form in English is written quite well. It's just too brutal and I can't stand the subject matter. I only got to page 50 and I'm calling it a DNF. This author doesn't mess around- starts with the most horrific situations. I closed a facility at night and this one! Now they are suggesting where I live that NO ONE close up any facility alone. Two or more. ...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 thi
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 r
So the first two books in this series were five star reads for me. I devoured each one within a few days. This one took me over a month to get through. Part of that is that I haven’t often been in the mood for heavy topics. That’s not the book’s fault. But this one just wasn’t as good. Overall I liked it but didn’t love it. It dragged in places and the ending felt abrupt and unfinished.

I wanted more scenes with Huldar and Freyja working together too and wanted their relationship to develop more
Charlene Intriago
The crimes in this book – and in the other two books in this series – are gruesome. I am at loss for words as to how the author thinks of this stuff. This series is the “Children’s House” series and I am assuming that all of the crimes in this series are going to involve children of some age. That being said, I gloss over the gruesomeness of the crimes and focus on the clues and the procedures used by the police in solving the cases. This book involves teenagers, bullying – especially cyber-bull ...more
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.
Ronald Koltnow
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The third n the Children’s House trilogy ( Note: this is the only one I’ve read).
The Absolution by Yrsa Sigurdardottir is a captivating story that focuses primarily on bullying and the effect it has on the victims of this cruelty especially in a time when the Internet plays a part of the injustice dealt out to those who are different.

The story is set in Iceland but it doesn’t focus as much on the nature of the country as other Nordic novels I have read. This novel dwells heavily on the personalities involved both those working with the police and the perpetrators of cri
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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

Other books in the series

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

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