The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir | #20BooksofSummer

Author : Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Title : The Legacy
Series : Children’s House #1
Pages : 455
Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date : May 30, 2017


The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?

The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.

Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?


I can’t remember what made me buy a copy of The Legacy but if I had known I had this corker on my bookshelf, I would have picked it up a lot sooner.

The prologue alone was enough to pull me right into the story, when a meeting is called to determine the fate of three siblings who are up for adoption. Apart from their gender and ages, we know nothing about these children so while it’s obvious this prologue will somehow connect to the rest of the story, I couldn’t at all figure out how.

Newly promoted detective Huldar is called to the scene of a brutal murder. A woman has died and the only potential witness is her seven year old daughter, Margret, who was hiding under the bed when her mother was killed. Detective Huldar is completely out of his depth. This is his first major solo investigation, thrown into his lap because he seems to be one of few reliable detectives left in his department, and he is so not ready for it. Huldar turns to Freya, a psychologist at the Children’s House, for help. The Children’s House deals with traumatised young children and Freya’s main objective is to keep little Margret safe, even if that means getting in the way of the investigation.

Meanwhile, the reader is introduced to Karl. He’s a rather sad and lonely character, who spends most of his time in the basement listening to broadcasts. But it’s during one of those sessions, he suddenly stumbles upon an odd sort of message containing only numbers. What could they possibly mean?

Whoever the murderer is, they are clearly on a mission and their first victim won’t be their last. They are leaving clues everywhere, in text messages and on scraps of paper. But nobody seems capable of cracking the code needed to decipher these clues. Including me. I had no idea where to even begin and believe me, I tried, in a desperate attempt to solve it before it was revealed to me.

The Legacy is truly dark and disturbing. If you are a member of the faint-hearted club, you may want to skip this one. I’m not one who shies away from gruesomeness in crime fiction but these murders are really something else. It’s not entirely there in all its graphic detailed glory but there’s enough there that it really doesn’t need a high level of imagination to realise the sheer horror of it all. I fear these images may be burnt onto my eyelids for eternity. While there may have been a bit of a slow start, I was gripped nonetheless. This is the first in a series after all so there is quite a lot of background to deal with first. With a fantastic cast of characters and a killer to catch, I was hooked. I think the clues as to the identity of the killer are there but I pretty much missed all of them. Probably because I was too busy trying to solve that numbers stuff. Still, I felt pretty smug when I got there before Huldar did.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Not having read anything by Yrsa before (I know, where the hell have I been?), I was impressed with her exquisite plotting. Plenty of twists, turns and red herrings to keep me entertained. Also, the translation by Victoria Cribb is spot-on. I never once felt like I was reading a book that wasn’t originally written in English.

The second book in the series, The Reckoning, is sat on my bookshelf waiting for me and I don’t think it’ll be too long before I’ll be getting stuck into that one too. Because we all know I really need another series to catch up on 🙄

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones

20 Books of Summer : 3/20

  17 comments for “The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir | #20BooksofSummer

  1. June 15, 2020 at 10:56 am

    I definitely fall into the fainthearted category so I don’t think this is one for me but great review nonetheless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2020 at 10:28 am

      I totally understand, Cathy. I wouldn’t normally mention it but since it affected me that much, I figured it was the right thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. June 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    I love this series, and this book. That first murder! My excuse for avoiding housekeeping duties. I have banned all such items from the house lol. You will love book two. There was one bit of the audio I had to rewind twice to make sure I hadn’t misheard it 😳.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2020 at 10:29 am

      Right?! I mean, you know, you’re thinking hide all the knives and such. Who the heck things of a vacuum?! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  3. June 15, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Fab review! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. June 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    For once I’m happy I’m not part of that club. Sounds like an awesome novel, totally my genre too. Adding to my wishlist! Wonderful review Eva!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. June 15, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Hurrah! I knew you’d love it! I should warn you I still get the heebie-jeebies every time I get the vacuum cleaner out (a great excuse for not doing it too often… 😉 ) I wonder what you’ll think of the next book. I admit I abandoned it – the subject matter was one of my pet dislikes. But I’ve loved several of her other standalones…

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 17, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Quite scary how right you were. 😉. Do you have any recommendations for her standalones?

      I was supposed to vacuum days ago. Can’t bring myself to go get it. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 17, 2020 at 12:49 pm

        I Remember You is a kind of traditional ghost story, and really creepily scary! I also loved Someone to Watch Over Me but when I look back at my review, I see it isn’t actually a standalone, it’s part of a different series. But it worked fine as a standalone for me… 😀


  6. June 15, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I have the audiobook!!!! I’ll be starting it next!!! xx

    Liked by 2 people

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