Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (b. 1963) is an award-winning, No. 1 best-selling Icelandic crime fiction author. Sigurdardóttir made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, the first installment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series. She has since gone on to write a number of acclaimed stand-alone thriller novels, and is to date translated into more than 30 languages. With The Legacy, the first novel in the award-winning series about child psychologist Freyja and police detective Huldar, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir has consolidated her position as one of the finest crime writers of our time, and a master storyteller at the top of her game.
“Yrsa is a magnificent writer”
“I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa’s work. It’s very engaging, fresh and exciting.”
“Yrsa is one of the most exciting new voices in the crime thriller world.”
“Yrsa Sigurdardóttir has with her large-scale and genuinely intelligent stories attempted to find the core of Iceland’s distinctive society, and thus pushed the Icelandic crime novel tradition many steps forward.”
“The undisputed queen of Icelandic Noir”
|Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award Ireland – Lygi Why Did You Lie||2018|
|Shortlisted for LovelyBooks’ Der Leserpreis (Best Crime & Thriller of 2017) Germany – Sogid The Reckoning||2017|
|Shortlisted for the Petrona Award (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK – Lygi Why Did You Lie||2017|
|Shortlisted for The Blood Drop (Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year) Iceland – Aflausn The Absolution||2017|
|The Danish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Crime Novel of the Year) Denmark – DNA The Legacy||2016|
|Shortlisted for LovelyBooks’ Der Leserpreis (Best Crime & Thriller of 2016) Germany – DNA The Legacy||2016|
|Shortlisted for the Mörda Award (Captivating Crime in Translation) UK – Kuldi The Undesired||2016|
|Shortlisted for The Blood Drop (Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year) Iceland – Sogid The Reckoning||2016|
|The Petrona Award (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK – Brakid The Silence of the Sea||2015|
|The Blood Drop (Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year) Iceland – DNA The Legacy||2015|
|Shortlisted for the Petrona Award (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK – Horfdu a mig Someone to Watch over Me||2014|
|Shortlisted for the Glass Key The Nordic Countries – DNA The Legacy||2014|
|Shortlisted for the Glass Key The Nordic Countries – Eg man thig I Remember You||2011|
|The Blood Drop (Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year) Iceland – Eg man thig I Remember You||2010|
|Shortlisted for the Shamus Award US – Ser grefur gröf My Soul to Take||2010|
The Times and the Sunday Times Crime Club have listed the forty best books of the past five years, and Antti Tuomainen and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir each grab a spot on the list. Sigurdardóttir (“The queen of Nordic crime”) does so with The Legacy, the novel that starts off her Freyja & Huldar series. The UK newspaper calls this first installment “an introductory murder that hikes the tension to cardiac-arrest levels. [...] Icelandic noir at its reliably gripping best.” Tuomainen (“Scandi noir’s leading chucklemeister”) meanwhile receives an accolade for his humorous Little Siberia, populated by “a splendid cast of characters. /.../ Nordic lols.”
The official Icelandic bestseller lists for 2019 have just been published, and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is one of the names among the top spots. Sigurðardóttir’s latest installment in the Freyja and Huldar series, The Fallout, was published just last month in December, yet managed to find its way to the No. 3 position on the bestseller list for all categories, and the No. 2 spot in the fiction category.
Jo Nesbø meanwhile comes in at No. 2 on the translated fiction list, appearing with the latest Harry Hole novel, Knife. At No. 3 on the same list is Liza Marklund’s Black Pearl Farm. The YA list sees Bobbie Peers grab the No. 7 spot with William Wenton and the Luridium Thief.
The Fallout, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s sixth novel about Freyja & Huldar, is No. 3 on the official Icelandic bestseller list this month.
On a cold day in Reykjavik, a baby goes missing from her pram. In her place, the father finds the body of a dead infant. The missing baby was born through a surrogacy agreement, one that started off well but quickly deteriorated. Eleven years have passed since the disappearance, when an isolated case of measles results in the death of a young girl. Her father sets out to find the responsible virus carrier in order to exact his revenge. In another part of the city, a woman’s dismembered body is found in a deserted car, her head missing.
In The Fallout, the sixth instalment in the Freyja and Huldar series, Police officer Huldar and child psychologist Freyja must combine their wits to solve a difficult case, where the fallout from previous misdeeds is relentless. The only common denominator in all three cases is the wall of silence that encircles those involved.
The Sunday Times has presented a carefully curated list of the very best crime and spy novels to be published since 1945, and among the illustrious authors and titles featured are Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Silence of the Sea. Nesbø and Sigurdardóttir are joined on the list by iconic names like Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming and Henning Mankell.
Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s largest national newspaper, has announced a list of the ten crime novels most worth looking forward to this spring. One of the must-reads on the list is The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, the first installment in her Freyja & Huldar series.
A doll is caught in the net of a fishing boat. It’s covered in barnacles and worms after years in the ocean, but a woman onboard takes it home at the request of her young daughter. This simple act of kindness sets into motion a series of fateful events, and five years later, skeletonized remains emerge from the ocean’s depths. Identifying the skeleton proves harder than initially thought: In a country where everyone knows their neighbor, an unknown missing person is an impossibility. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar dives into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home. The cases are linked through a single, missing witness: The young girl that wanted the doll all those years ago.
The Doll is the fifth installment in Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s latest novel, The Hole, claims the No. 1 spot on the Icelandic bestseller list this week. The Hole is the fourth installment in the series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar, and was published in Iceland just two weeks ago.
Click on “Read more” below to vote for your favorite. The voting ends on November 28th.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s Why Did You Lie and Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here are longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2018. The shortlist will be published next year in April and the winner will be announced on June 13th.
Click on “Read more” to see the full list of nominees.
The judges praise Sigurdardóttir’s Why Did You Lie?, calling it “A compelling exploration of guilt and retribution, which builds to a nerve-jangling finale.”
They are equally impressed by Persson’s The Dying Detective: “Expertly plotted and highly gripping, The Dying Detective features characters from a number of other crime novels by the author, but succeeds brilliantly as a standalone in its own right.”
The winner of the Petrona Award 2017 will be announced on May 20th.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Legacy has been awarded The Danish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Palle Rosenkrantz Prisen) 2016 for ‘Best Crime Novel of the Year’. The Legacy is the first installment in the Freyja & Huldar series. Yrsa Sigurdardóttir will receive the award at The Crime Book Festival, Krimimessen, in Horsens on April 1st.
The daily newspaper The Boston Globe has chosen Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Silence of the Sea as one of their Best Books of 2016. The Silence of the Sea is the sixth installment in the series about Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, and has previously won the Petrona Award. It is the only translated title to enter The Boston Globe’s list of Best Books of 2016 in the Mystery category.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Absolution has been shortlisted for 2017’s The Blood Drop, the Icelandic award for best crime fiction novel of the year. The Absolution is the third installment in the Freyja & Huldar series and was just published in Iceland to rave reviews.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Absolution has shot straight to No. 1 on the official Icelandic bestseller list after being published just days ago. The Absolution is the third installment in the Freyja & Huldar series.
Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s Why Did You Lie? has been chosen by The Sunday Times as their Crime Novel of the Year. The UK newspaper’s critics laud the novel in their review, calling it “a tour de force” and praising Sigurdardóttir for her brilliant handling of the different plot strands, and how she brings them together in an unforgettable climax.
A teenager is brutally beaten to death in the cinema where she works, her body dragged into the night by the masked killer. Clips of her begging for forgiveness are sent to her friends from her Snapchat account. When the body is finally found it is marked “2”. A teenage boy meets a similar fate a few days later, and again clips where he begs the killer for forgiveness are sent to his friends via social media. When found his body is marked with a “3”.
Huldar joins the murder investigation, working under Erla. Their relationship is strained after being subjected to an internal review regarding the sexual harassment allegations, which took place in The Vortex. But they must set their differences aside and focus on finding a merciless killer - as well as trying to ascertain if there is an undiscovered third body - one carrying the number “1”.
As Icelandic law stipulates that a psychologist be present when questioning youths, Freyja is drawn into the investigation despite her reluctance to work with Huldar. She soon suspects that bullying might lie at the heart of the case, although her own experience as a victim of such behaviour might influence her judgement.
All three can at least agree on two things: the truth is far from simple. And the killer is not done yet.
The Absolution is the third installment in Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.
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Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s stand-alone thriller Why Did You Lie has been selected by The Sunday Times as their Crime Book of the Month. The British newspaper calls the novel “a tour de force,” applauding Sigurdardóttir for her brilliant handling of the different plot strands and how she brings them together in “an unforgettable climax.”
Erik Axl Sund’s The Crow Girl and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Undesired have both been shortlisted for The Mörda Award for ‘Captivating Crime in Translation’. The winning novel will be announced on July 22nd at Harrogate. To vote for your favorite, click the “Read more” button below.
Yrsa Sigurdardottir is the winner of the Petrona Award 2015 for 'Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year' for her novel The Silence of the Sea, translated by Victoria Cribb and published by Hodder and Stoughton.
Falling Freely, as if in a Dream by Leif GW Persson and The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir are both shortlisted for the Petrona Award 2015 for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year’. The winner will be announced in May 2015.