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'The Absolution' review: Iceland thriller may leave you cold

Sigurjon Ragnar's

Sigurjon Ragnar's "The Absolution" is a new Iceland-set thriller. Credit: Minotaur Books

THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (Minotaur Books, 368 pp., $28.99)

The title does the job of marketing “The Absolution” as part of a thriller series whose previous entries are “The Reckoning” and “The Legacy,” but it doesn’t have much to do with the book, so good luck figuring out who’s absolved.

One of CrimeRead’s most anticipated mysteries of the year is a bit of a disappointment from Sigurdardóttir, whose supernatural horror novels, such as “I Remember You,” tend to be better than her procedurals. This one’s about child psychologist Freyja and snappish cop Huldar, on the trail of a killer who targets bullies and who sends Snapchat photos of the crimes to all the victims’ friends and family members.

Sigurdardóttir is adept at pace and at creating an atmosphere of clipped, Icelandic dread (names such as Boldur, Haukur and Mordur help) but too many coincidences and undifferentiated suspects make for an unsatisfying resolution.


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