The Absolution: Children's House # 3
Minotaur, 2020 (2020)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
as the third in Yrsa Sigurdardottir's
thriller series, starring child psychologist Freyja and police Detective Huldar Huldar and set in Iceland. Their burgeoning relationship was halted in their first shared investigation, whose ending damaged both their careers.
hile attracted to Freyja, Huldar also slept with his boss Erla, a fact that became public knowledge. Erla is hostile to Freyja, and now assigns Huldar (and his partner Gudlaugur) only the most trivial of assignments. This episode opens on the brutal murder of a young woman, who's first forced to beg for forgiveness (on Spapchat). Her body is marked with number '2'. More victims follow, the bodies taken by the killer.
uldar enlists Freyja's help in interviewing the first victim's friends, which is not appreciated by Erla. They're sure the girls are hiding something. Gradually it becomes clear to Freyja, herself bullied in school, that extreme bullying is what the current victims had in common, their targets consistently let down by the school system. Despite Erla's attempts to keep Huldar in the background, it's he and Freyja who make real progress on the case.
he perp in
is quite a surprise. I enjoy the challenges of this complex series and like spending time with Sigurdardottir's leads, who are very fallible and very human. I hope to read more of Huldar and Freyja soon.
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