Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

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”
-Karin Slaughter

“I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa’s work. It’s very engaging, fresh and exciting.”
–James Patterson

“Yrsa is one of the most exciting new voices in the crime thriller world.”
–Peter James

“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.”
–Arne Dahl

“The undisputed queen of Icelandic Noir”
–Simon Kernick

“I love the Children’s House series.”
–Shari Lapena

“Yrsa is a wonderful storyteller. Her stories are atmospheric, mysterious and brilliantly plotted … you will never see the twists coming.”
–Mari Hannah



The Blood Drop (Best Crime Fiction) Iceland – Bráðin The Prey 2021
Shortlisted for the Petrona Award (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK – Aflausn The Absolution 2020
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
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 Danish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award (Best Crime Novel of the Year) Denmark – DNA The Legacy 2016
The Blood Drop (Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year) Iceland – DNA The Legacy 2015
The Petrona Award (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year) UK – Brakid The Silence of the Sea 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
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Freyja & Huldar

Thóra Gudmundsdóttir

Related news

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir awarded The Blood Drop

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Prey is the winner of the 2020 Blood Drop Award for ‘Best Crime Novel of the Year.’ The Blood Drop Award is an Icelandic crime fiction award, annually presented by the Crime Writers of Iceland association and the winner becomes the Icelandic nomination for the Glass Key, an award given annually to a crime novel from one of the Nordic countries.

‘The Prey’ one of 2020’s most sold titles in Iceland

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s stand-alone thriller The Prey is the No. 3 most sold title of 2020 in Iceland, across all genres.

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir the third most sold in Iceland in 2020

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s stand-alone The Prey is the No. 3 most sold title of 2020 in Iceland. The novel also claimed the No. 2 spot on the last list of the year, showing mid- to late December’s sales.

‘The Prey’ No. 3 in Iceland

The pace is picking up in Iceland, where the official monthly lists are now divided into weekly ones. On the latest list for November 23-29, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir claims the No. 3 spot with The Prey, her latest stand-alone title.

The 2020 Petrona Award shortlist

The Petrona Award’s jury has just presented its shortlist for the 2020 Petrona Award for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.’ The list of six nominees include Antti Tuomainen’s Little Siberia, Stina Jackson’s The Silver Road, Jørn Lier Horst’s The Cabin, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s The Absolution and Thomas Enger’s Inborn.

A quote from the judges about the titles shortlisted for this year’s award:

“The Petrona Award judges selected the shortlist from a rich field. The six novels stand out for their writing, characterisation, plotting, and overall quality. They are original and inventive, often pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, and tackle highly complex subjects such as legacies of the past, mental health issues and the effects of grief.”

The winning title, usually announced at the international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, will now be announced on Thursday 3 December, 2020.

‘The Prey’ published in Iceland

A search and rescue team is sent into the remote and isolated Icelandic highlands to search for a group of missing people. What compelled them to enter the area in the middle of the harsh winter, into darkness and snowstorms? And why did they leave what little shelter they had, underdressed and vulnerable to the harsh conditions?

Meanwhile at the isolated radar station in Stokksnes, strange events take place. Here nothing is what it seems. Be it the pool of blood discovered in the pristine snow far from civilization, a small children’s shoe unearthed after being buried for decades or the gaping black hole in the bedrock by the sea that seems to attract people…

The Prey is a blood-curling and unnerving novel, guaranteed to make you shiver. In this stunning stand-alone thriller Yrsa Sigurdardottir proves once again that ”she is a generator of fear quite as adroit as such writers as Stephen King” (The Independent).

Antti Tuomainen and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir on The Times’ ‘Best books of the past five years’ list

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 Icelandic bestseller lists for 2019

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’ No. 3 in Iceland

The Fallout, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s sixth novel about Freyja & Huldar, is No. 3 on the official Icelandic bestseller list this month.

‘The Fallout’ published in Iceland

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.

Jo Nesbø and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir on Sunday Times’ list of 100 best thrillers since 1945

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.

‘The Legacy’ one of spring 2019’s most anticipated titles in Sweden

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.

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