Book Reviews

The Legacy (Children’s House #1)

Author: Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Publish Date: February 13, 2018 by Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Hardcover: 464 pages
My Rating: 3 stars

The Legacy is the first installment in a new series featuring the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.

The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case 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 for her expertise with traumatized 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, but can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, already a bestselling crime author in Iceland, has brought the first book in a new series to the US. The Legacy opens with one of the most intriguing prologues I’ve read in awhile which kept me wanting to turn the pages to find out more. Sigurdardottir is known for her unique blend of crime fiction with a horror twist, and with the killer’s dark and disturbing MO in The Legacy, this book is no exception. This thriller is part detailed police investigation and part crime and mystery, with a storyline of dark, twisted family secrets woven in.

The first half of the book kept me engaged, but then it petered out for me. The internal musings of a couple of the characters began to feel tedious and some of the dialogue was a bit corny. There were a lot of puzzle pieces dropped along the way, but they didn’t connect to make an intriguing plot. They felt more like things that just didn’t make sense to the reader yet and it took too long for it to make sense. To keep me engaged, I could have used some reveals peppered throughout. All the threads do eventually get tied up and explained in the end, and I suppose this is what usually makes a good layered plot, but to me there wasn’t enough that made sense throughout to keep me intrigued.

There was also a code to be broken, and I usually love those kind of ‘DaVinci Code’ things to solve, but this code was a bunch of nonsequential numbers that I had no chance of solving until it was spelled out to me by the author.

When the killer’s motive is finally revealed, it was extremely convoluted, and when all the threads are tied up, the solution felt like it came out of left field. There was no aha moment – it was more of a whaaaat???

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