The Doll [Children’s House 5]

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When Disa and her daughter Rósa go on a fishing trip, the most Disa expects to bring home is a couple of fish. Instead, they net a doll, one-eyed and encrusted in barnacles and worms, a hideous, broken thing that Disa wants to throw back, but Rósa insists on keeping. By morning, Disa is dead.

Five years later, the manager of a children’s home is accused of sexual abuse, a drug addict is found dead, and human remains are discovered off the coast of Reykjavík. One witness seems to link all three cases, but that witness is missing. That witness is Rósa.

I made two rookie mistakes when I chose The Doll for review – I made an assumption that it was a horror (creepy doll!), and I forgot to check whether it was part of a series – so when I started reading and realised that it was book five of a crime series, it came as a bit of a surprise. Fortunately, it turned out to be a happy accident, as The Doll happens to be a superior Scandi-noir thriller which works equally as well as a stand-alone novel.

Set against the atmospheric backdrop of the Icelandic capital, The Doll is fast-moving, yet tense and complex. I will definitely be going back to the beginning of the series and reading the first four books.

I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 22nd June 2021

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