Kuldi
Þegar ungur maður fer að rannsaka starfsemi unglingaheimilis frá áttunda áratugnum taka undarlegir atburðir að skekja tilveru hans og dóttur hans. En hvort eiga þeir rætur að rekja til hörmunga sem dundu yfir upptökuheimilið eða til sviplegs fráfalls barnsmóður hans hálfu ári fyrr?

Kuldi Details

TitleKuldi
Author
LanguageIcelandic
ReleaseNov 1st, 2012
PublisherVeröld
ISBN-139789935440365
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Crime, Fiction, Horror, Scandinavian Lite..., Nordic Noir

Kuldi Review

  • Crime by the Book
    January 1, 1970
    Find my full review at: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/2...This book is everything I hoped for and MUCH more. Atmospheric, spine-tinging suspense in the form of a slow-burning mystery. Absolutely loved it!!
  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is a standalone story, not related to the author's Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. If you read the blurb for this English translation, the plot is outlined in a manner that heavily suggests it has a horror slant; in this it appears more similar to another standalone book of the author's, I Remember You, than her crime novels. In fact, it has nowhere near as much horror in it as I Remember You, and is nowhere near as scary, but it's also much tighter and more coherent. There are two stran This novel is a standalone story, not related to the author's Thóra Guðmundsdóttir series. If you read the blurb for this English translation, the plot is outlined in a manner that heavily suggests it has a horror slant; in this it appears more similar to another standalone book of the author's, I Remember You, than her crime novels. In fact, it has nowhere near as much horror in it as I Remember You, and is nowhere near as scary, but it's also much tighter and more coherent. There are two strands to the plot. One takes place in the present day, and follows Ódinn, a single dad, as he grapples with the challenge of caring for his daughter Rún and, at work (the State Supervisory Agency, only vaguely described) investigates the events at Krókur, a care home for delinquent boys which shut down in the 1970s. He's inherited the case from a colleague who died, and uncovers increasingly strange and tantalising details as he digs through her files. Plot strand no.2 is set in 1974, at Krókur itself, and follows Aldís, a young cleaner who gets unwisely involved with one of the boys living there. But there's also the mystery of her employers and that rumour about their baby...It's hard to get a handle on what I liked so much about The Undesired - I think it was simply exactly what I needed at the time I chose to read it. It flows effortlessly, and isn't hampered by the inconsistent characterisation and/or excess of detail that stopped me from loving the author's other books even though I found parts of them excellent. It has proper mystery elements (what went down at Krókur? Was the 'accidental' death of Ódinn's ex-wife actually something more sinister?) and supernatural traces which are helped along by the atmospheric setting of Krókur - miles from anywhere, snowbound, with things that go bump in the night. It all kept me turning the pages, and at the end I wished there were more books featuring Ódinn's investigations (view spoiler)[though that's impossible, as anyone who's read it will see (hide spoiler)]. That's another thing I liked - the dark and surprising ending. The Undesired is eerie rather than frightening, and all the more effective for it. My favourite Yrsa Sigurðardóttir book yet.
    more
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    The Undesired begins with Odinn and his daughter trapped in a running automobile slowly being overcome with the fumes leaving a reader to wonder just who this pair is and what brought them to that moment. Going back to find out those answers we learn that Odinn had lost his wife and has been left to raise his young daughter alone. At that point Odinn takes a new job to look into a former residential home for boys to see if there had possibly been any kind of abuse. As Odinn is looking into the p The Undesired begins with Odinn and his daughter trapped in a running automobile slowly being overcome with the fumes leaving a reader to wonder just who this pair is and what brought them to that moment. Going back to find out those answers we learn that Odinn had lost his wife and has been left to raise his young daughter alone. At that point Odinn takes a new job to look into a former residential home for boys to see if there had possibly been any kind of abuse. As Odinn is looking into the past of the home and the allegations the story alternates even farther back into the past with Aldis, a young woman who was working at the home in the 70s and had befriended one of the boys in question. The Undesired by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir for me was simply a case of this one being way too much of a slow building read for my taste. I'm sure some people will enjoy the story but I found myself very quick to losing interest as the story was being built switching timelines and points of view. We know that things happened in the past simply from the investigation so as things were slowly being explained I just wanted to hurry to the answers. In the end even though this wasn't a favorite of mine I would still urge others to give it a try if it sounded like something they might enjoy as the writing was fine just a bit too slow for my taste in a thriller type read. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
    more
  • Richard
    January 1, 1970
    This is an incredible story about historic child abuse that is suspected and an official report is commissioned to investigate. By establishing the known facts the authorities would see if any survivors were due compensation.This plot outline then is established in the author,Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and she writes a multi-faceted horror story; so well paced and intriguing with unexplained circumstances, unease and foreboding it is hard to unravel the mystery and see reality rather than the supernatu This is an incredible story about historic child abuse that is suspected and an official report is commissioned to investigate. By establishing the known facts the authorities would see if any survivors were due compensation.This plot outline then is established in the author,Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and she writes a multi-faceted horror story; so well paced and intriguing with unexplained circumstances, unease and foreboding it is hard to unravel the mystery and see reality rather than the supernatural.The investigative report stalls when the officier responsible dies suddenly. Odinn is pleased to finally have an important role at the firm to take up the enquiry into abuse at the home.The author uses a parallel narrative to run alongside his investigation by introducing an eyewitness account of a cleaning girl working at the detention centre where the boys have been placed for unspecified misdemeanors. Aldis is as much a prisoner as the boys at the home in rural Iceland as she has run away from home.This is superb writing; well paced and a gentle disclosure into what went on so many years ago. The past seems to reach out across the years and influence the modern day enquiry. We fear for Odinn right from the start feeling his life is threatened in a manner that two boys lost their lives shortly before the centre was forced to close in a tragic 'accident'.Packed with superstition; threats that seem both apparitions; unexplained smells and noises both in the past and haunting Odinn and his daughter's home and dreams. The reader struggles to believe events could have been influenced by ghostly disturbances; but what rational link could explain the present sense of danger with a perpetrator who must be of pensionable age continuing to bring terror and guilt from the past into silencing anyone who tries to shine a light on the past.The book never allows one to make sense of the dangers real or imagined in Aldis' time or the consequences being played out in the modern account. Great characterisation; lots of spooky events in dark spaces and the dead of night the story hooks you from the start and never easily gives up its secrets.At its heart it speaks about crime and punishment; guilt and innocence with death seemingly unbiased in those taken but needing to be satisfied if the grime reaper calls. Sometimes the burden is greater on those who are spared but witness its effects at close hand. I love these notions shared in this considered piece of fiction that tells about broken families. How life is hard and a struggle; that consequences from historic events can pass down the generations. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is above all else a wonderful storyteller any discerning reader will enjoy this tale. Pity the librarians who have to classify where it sits on the shelf. The bookshop has an easier task "best seller".
    more
  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    *** 3.5 out of 5 stars ***The Undesired is the first book by this author that I have read, I went in to it not knowing what to expect.The story in this book begins with an ending of sorts, a man and his young daughter are trapped in a car slowly asphyxiating. By doing this, the author has ensured that the audience are captive, instantly hooked by wondering who these people are, why there are there, what has lead to this monumental moment. There are two strands of story in this book, the first fo *** 3.5 out of 5 stars ***The Undesired is the first book by this author that I have read, I went in to it not knowing what to expect.The story in this book begins with an ending of sorts, a man and his young daughter are trapped in a car slowly asphyxiating. By doing this, the author has ensured that the audience are captive, instantly hooked by wondering who these people are, why there are there, what has lead to this monumental moment. There are two strands of story in this book, the first following Odinn and the second following Aldis.Following the death of his ex-wife, Odinn, now a single parent grapples with raising his daughter alone. She is traumatised by the death of her mother and he struggles to support her. Was her death accidental? Why is she haunting Odinn and his daughter? This is not all that Odinn has to contend with, he has taken over investigations at work into alleged abuse at a care home for male young offenders, a home that shut down in the 1970s but certain questions remain unanswered.Back in 1974 Aldi was a cleaner at the care home for the delinquent boys, she provides an eyewitness account of the happenings at the home. Her relationship with one of the older boys and the the owner's of the home having deep secrets really add an extra layer to the back story. Weaving together Odinn's investigation and the lead up to the closure of the home following the death of two boys, the author provides answers for the questions the reader has from the beginning of the book. Characterisation is great, the details about the home feel authentic . The plot is intriguing, but I wonder if it might work better if billed as a psychological thriller as opposed to horror which the blurb implies. Overall a good read, but I just felt that the "spooky" aspects took something away from the story.
    more
  • Jon Recluse
    January 1, 1970
    An investigation into alleged abuses that took place in a juvenile detention center in rural Iceland during the 1970s hint at possible deadly repercussions in the present for the single father tasked with looking into the matter...ones that may have already struck close to home.Sigurdardottir expertly alternates this current investigation with the story of a young woman working in the detention center when these abuses took place, a tale of mysterious goings-on that hint at a supernatural source An investigation into alleged abuses that took place in a juvenile detention center in rural Iceland during the 1970s hint at possible deadly repercussions in the present for the single father tasked with looking into the matter...ones that may have already struck close to home.Sigurdardottir expertly alternates this current investigation with the story of a young woman working in the detention center when these abuses took place, a tale of mysterious goings-on that hint at a supernatural source.Chillingly atmospheric, this one kept me guessing right up to the last page.Highly recommended.
    more
  • Zai
    January 1, 1970
    Sigurdardóttir nos narra la novela en dos tiempos distintos. Por un lado el de Aldis trabajando en el internado; y por otro, el de Odín con sus problemas familiares y su investigación sobre posibles abusos.Estas historias, claro está, acabarán siendo una sola cuyo desenlace, es muy perturbador y angustioso y que me dejó boquiabierta.Los indeseados es un thriller hiriente y enérgico que aúna misterio, investigación y una ambientación amenazadora desde la primera hasta la última página. La islande Sigurdardóttir nos narra la novela en dos tiempos distintos. Por un lado el de Aldis trabajando en el internado; y por otro, el de Odín con sus problemas familiares y su investigación sobre posibles abusos.Estas historias, claro está, acabarán siendo una sola cuyo desenlace, es muy perturbador y angustioso y que me dejó boquiabierta.Los indeseados es un thriller hiriente y enérgico que aúna misterio, investigación y una ambientación amenazadora desde la primera hasta la última página. La islandesa consigue la dosis justa de tensión y miedo con la que el lector siente y padece la ansiedad de los protagonistas, su inquietud y desazón. Es muy buena generando esas emociones gracias a la gran ambientación.Es una novela intensa que puede alterar tus nervios en muchas ocasiones en las que te dan ganas de dejar de leer por miedo a lo que te puedas encontrar en las siguientes páginas, pero que, no obstante, devorarás. El terror y el misterio bien llevados y escritos tienen esos efectos.Una historia bien narrada, con un estilo cuidado que se lee de forma compulsiva.
    more
  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    An Icelandic tale with a touch of paranormal about the suspicious death of two children in a care home in the desolate wasteland of Iceland. When 40 odd years later there is an new investigation in the care homes that took in juvenile delinquents after a series of scandals. At first the main protagonist is asked to look in the case of one particular care home because the previous investigator had died before finishing.It is a bleak story with little or no moments of true excitement of darkness. An Icelandic tale with a touch of paranormal about the suspicious death of two children in a care home in the desolate wasteland of Iceland. When 40 odd years later there is an new investigation in the care homes that took in juvenile delinquents after a series of scandals. At first the main protagonist is asked to look in the case of one particular care home because the previous investigator had died before finishing.It is a bleak story with little or no moments of true excitement of darkness. The story never really pulls you into itself. Even if the writer does know how to tell a story this book must not be her better work otherwise I am somewhat flabbergasted by her popularity. Anyhow it passes the time and perhaps I will look into another book of this writer, but this book is not the best advertisement for her writing skills. Like Iceland in the winter this book felt empty and cold.
    more
  • Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling
    January 1, 1970
    3 1/2 starsMy View:A very topical theme – the historic abuse of children in care – mixed with a little mystery/superstition/ hint of the paranormal/horror but in the end this intriguing narrative delivers a very powerful, of this world evil, that you just won’t see coming! The beginning has a very seductive but sad emotional hook – we are privy to the end of Odin and his daughter’s life (no spoilers here), then we are introduced via flashbacks and various view points to a lives in a children’s h 3 1/2 starsMy View:A very topical theme – the historic abuse of children in care – mixed with a little mystery/superstition/ hint of the paranormal/horror but in the end this intriguing narrative delivers a very powerful, of this world evil, that you just won’t see coming! The beginning has a very seductive but sad emotional hook – we are privy to the end of Odin and his daughter’s life (no spoilers here), then we are introduced via flashbacks and various view points to a lives in a children’s home; grim, grey and almost without hope – for the residents and the workers alike. Chapters relating to past and present time zones evoke a feeling of dread and the potential of horror and things that go bump in the night… The end is powerful and hints that this story may not be over!
    more
  • K.
    January 1, 1970
    Trigger warnings: death, asphyxiation, death of a spouse, death of an infant, seriously there's a lot of death.3.5 stars. I've read quite a few of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books now, and they always seem to straddle the line between thriller and paranormal/horror stories. They're generally compelling and fast paced, and this one was no exception. It alternated between the 1970s and the present day, and there were plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. That said, there were times when Trigger warnings: death, asphyxiation, death of a spouse, death of an infant, seriously there's a lot of death.3.5 stars. I've read quite a few of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books now, and they always seem to straddle the line between thriller and paranormal/horror stories. They're generally compelling and fast paced, and this one was no exception. It alternated between the 1970s and the present day, and there were plenty of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. That said, there were times when this felt repetitive because the 1970s story is being investigated in the present and so it felt like there were times when I was being told things twice because I'd see it happen in the 1970s and then the next chapter would feature the people in the present finding out the same information blah blah blah. Still, it was surprisingly creepy a lot of the time and the final resolution was one I did NOT see coming.
    more
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This was slow going but I stuck with it. It never really picked up, I just got used to the pace. It was pretty clever and the reveal was a complete surprise. I liked the Icelandic setting and all the Icelandic names. A strong 3 star book.
  • Ken Fredette
    January 1, 1970
    Thought that this was a really dark book, don't particularly like this kind of story. It seemed to take on an other dimension as we got into the book. The girl is evil itself.
  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Falling between two stools...As the book begins, a man and his young daughter are in the last stages of asphyxiation in his car. How did they get there? Who has done this to them? The story takes the reader back into the past to answer these questions. Odinn's life was turned upside down a few months previously when his ex-wife fell from a window and died, leaving him with the responsibility for his young daughter, Rún. Until then he had been a weekend father, fond of his daughter but leading th Falling between two stools...As the book begins, a man and his young daughter are in the last stages of asphyxiation in his car. How did they get there? Who has done this to them? The story takes the reader back into the past to answer these questions. Odinn's life was turned upside down a few months previously when his ex-wife fell from a window and died, leaving him with the responsibility for his young daughter, Rún. Until then he had been a weekend father, fond of his daughter but leading the life of a single man. As part of his readjustment, he has taken a new job in the State Supervisory Agency, office-based and with regular hours. He has been given the task of preparing a report on a former residential home for boys to check whether there are likely to be any claims from former residents for compensation for abuse or ill-treatment. The book is split between his investigation and the story of what led to the home's closure, following the death of two of the boys.This is being billed as a horror novel and does have some aspects of horror, but in reality it's more of a crime novel with psychological aspects. The horror consists of some unexplained shadows and the occasional bit of spooky giggling, and rarely sent any shivers down my spine. And it really doesn't add anything to the basic story, leaving me to wonder why it's in there at all.The crime aspect is better. Back in the '70s, the story is seen through the eyes of Aldis, a young girl employed at the home who develops a relationship with one of the older boys. The owners of the home have their own secrets and don't treat either the boys or the staff well, though thankfully this isn't yet another child abuse tale. Again, the reader knows from Odinn's investigation in the present day that two of the boys die, so this part of the story, like the present day one, is more about finding out what led to their deaths. Sometimes knowing what's going to happen works, but in this case I found that all this foreknowledge led to a serious lack of tension. There is still a mystery, which I won't detail for fear of spoilers, and I was surprised by the ending, but for most of the book it feels like a fairly long plod to get to a destination we already know.Usually I love Sigurdardottir's books, so my disappointment with this one is partly to do with my high expectations. Although it didn't quite meet those, there's still plenty in it to enjoy. The characterisation is good, especially of Aldis, and the part about the home is well done, giving a good feeling of authenticity. Sigurdardottir's writing is always readable and the translation, by Victoria Cribb, is excellent. The plot is intriguing despite the ending being known, and although it crosses the credibility line it held my interest for the most part. I think the book is trying to do two things at the same time – have a realistic plot and be a spooky horror story – and as a result neither works as well as it would have alone. It also makes the book overlong. Had the spooky aspects been cut, the whole thing would have been much tighter and would, I feel, actually have achieved a higher level of tension. I'm sure that Sigurdardottir fans like myself will find enough in it to make it a worthwhile read, but it wouldn't be one that I would necessarily recommend to newcomers to her work. Much better to start with her Thora Gudmundsdottir series. 3½ stars for me, so rounded up.NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton.www.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com
    more
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Deliciously creepy standalone by one of my favorite authors! With hints of paranormal activity and the stark Icelandic setting, this mystery/thriller was impossible to put down so I read it cover to cover in a single sitting. It's dark, chilling and twisted and I really liked the story.The opening of the novel sets the stage for the backstory -- a man and his 11-year-old daughter are slowly asphyxiating in a car in a garage. Who has done this to them, and why? Odinn and Run (accents missing) had Deliciously creepy standalone by one of my favorite authors! With hints of paranormal activity and the stark Icelandic setting, this mystery/thriller was impossible to put down so I read it cover to cover in a single sitting. It's dark, chilling and twisted and I really liked the story.The opening of the novel sets the stage for the backstory -- a man and his 11-year-old daughter are slowly asphyxiating in a car in a garage. Who has done this to them, and why? Odinn and Run (accents missing) had reconnected and she was living with him after his ex-wife's tragic fall and death. Was this connected to the case he was working on? Odinn had quit his previous job when Run came to live with him and was now working for an agency tasked with investigating possible abuse in an old delinquent boys' home -- the Krokur care home. As an engineer, they counted on his rational approach to discovering if anything untoward had happened on that isolated farm in the 1970s. The previous investigator had died suddenly, and Odinn was looking through her files and notes to catch up and finish the report. The narrative then shifts to another point of view -- that of Aldis, a young woman who worked at the care home as a cleaner and aide to the owners. Lilja and Veigar are rigid and lack compassion for their charges and the hired help. The pacing is smooth and the shifts between present day Odinn and 1974 Aldis are flawless as the story develops and builds tension as the reader begins to understand what might have happened there at the care home and how Odinn might be connected. Add in some seriously messed up characters and an atmosphere of gloom and a dose of weird bumps and noises and you have the sense that things are going to go wrong in a big way. No spoilers, but there are quite a few surprises at the climax and conclusion of this noir tale.I can't wait to read more by Yrsa Sigurdardottir and though I've adored her Thora novels, I will read anything she writes. I recommend it.Thank you to NetGalley and St.. Martin's Press for the e-book ARC to review. I really loved the name pronunciation guide at the start!
    more
  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! Review to come soon
  • Aleshanee
    January 1, 1970
    Nachdem gelungenen "Geisterfjord" wollte ich unbedingt mehr von der Autorin lesen - hatte mir hier aber definitiv mehr erwartet.Die Spannung hat leider oft gefehlt und es war auch nicht gruselig oder nervenaufreibend! Die beiden Handlungsstränge aus der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit waren allerdings gekonnt aufeinander aufgebaut und ich hab doch mitgefiebert, wie diese beiden Geschichten zusammenhängen könnten.Óðinn war für mich ein eher unspektakulärer Charakter. Er arbeitet in einer staatli Nachdem gelungenen "Geisterfjord" wollte ich unbedingt mehr von der Autorin lesen - hatte mir hier aber definitiv mehr erwartet.Die Spannung hat leider oft gefehlt und es war auch nicht gruselig oder nervenaufreibend! Die beiden Handlungsstränge aus der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit waren allerdings gekonnt aufeinander aufgebaut und ich hab doch mitgefiebert, wie diese beiden Geschichten zusammenhängen könnten.Óðinn war für mich ein eher unspektakulärer Charakter. Er arbeitet in einer staatlichen Kontrollbehörde in Island und kümmert sich erst seit kurzem um seine 11jährige Tochter Rún. Schon kurz nach ihrer Geburt hatten Óðinn und seine damalige Frau Lárá gemerkt, dass sie nicht zusammenpassen. Er hat es sich nach der Trennung recht einfach gemacht und ist sich seiner Vaterrolle nur ab und zu an den Wochenenden für kurze Eisdielenbesuche oder ähnlichem nicht wirklich gerecht geworden. Jetzt jedoch, nachdem Lárá zu Tode kam, bleibt ihm nichts anderes übrig und er hat sich mit seiner neuen Rolle arrangiert. Ich würde sogar sagen, dass er sich sehr große Mühe gibt und er damit einige Pluspunkte bei mir gesammelt hat. Ansonsten ist er aber nicht so ganz zu durchschauen - ein recht einfach gestrickter Mann, der ein einfaches Leben ohne große Schwierigkeiten allem anderen vorzieht. Trotzdem haben seine Passagen oft die Neugier geweckt, weil einige überraschende Wendungen eingetreten sind, mit denen ich nicht gerechnet hatte.Die zweite Perspektive, aus der erzählt wird, ist die von Aldís. Sie hat 1974 in dem besagten Erziehungsheim gearbeitet und so erfährt man Parallel zu Óðinn Nachforschungen, was wirklich damals passiert ist. Gerade hier gibt es spannende Momente und den Versuch, eine gruselige Atmosphäre zu erzeugen - bei mir kam sie nur dieses Mal leider gar nicht an. Mag sein, dass das an meiner momentanen Stimmung liegt ... aber der Nervenkitzel hat mir hier einfach komplett gefehlt.Dazu kommt, dass hier die Handlung oft konstruiert aufgebaut war und einiges durchschaubar bzw. nicht so ganz schlüssig. Darüber hab ich zwar hinweggesehen, da ich mich einfach von der Spannung treiben lassen wollte - die aber leider zwischendurch eben auch nachgelassen hat. Soweit, dass ich manche Stellen gerne überflogen hätte, ABER trotzdem so fesselnd, dass ich auf jeden Fall wissen wollte, was dahintersteckt. Ja ich weiß, das widerspricht sich, aber so war mein Gefühl beim Lesen.Daran ist auch der Prolog am Anfang schuld, denn hier erfährt man, wie die Geschichte endet - natürlich ohne viel zu verraten, wie es dazu kam und das hatte ich beim Lesen doch immer wieder im Hinterkopf und hat die Neugierde hoch gehalten.Der Schreibstil an sich war flüssig und detailliert, so dass man sich alles super vorstellen konnte, ohne sich zu sehr in unwichtigem zu verlieren.Zum Ende hin hats mich dann aber doch wieder so richtig gepackt, auch wenn einige Auflösungen schon vorher offensichtlich waren. Dafür gabs am Schluss nochmal eine sehr bittere Überraschung, mit der ich nicht gerechnet hatte. Fazit 3.5 Sterne© AleshaneeWeltenwanderer
    more
  • Coenraad
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not fond of ghost stories, but if Yrsa weaves one, I'll try it. And what a joy it turned out to be! Cleverly plotted, with a tension-building dual narrative moving between 1974 and the present day, and more twists and turns and surprises (and unexplained detail) than your average suspense novel, this story builds lung capacity in the final third as gasp is followed by gasp. I would still advise readers to start with Last rituals, and to look forward to The silence of the sea as her best book I'm not fond of ghost stories, but if Yrsa weaves one, I'll try it. And what a joy it turned out to be! Cleverly plotted, with a tension-building dual narrative moving between 1974 and the present day, and more twists and turns and surprises (and unexplained detail) than your average suspense novel, this story builds lung capacity in the final third as gasp is followed by gasp. I would still advise readers to start with Last rituals, and to look forward to The silence of the sea as her best book to date, but The undesired is a worthy addition to an excellent oeuvre.Ek is nie gaande oor spookstories nie, maar ek sal haas enigiets lees wat Yrsa neerpen. Sy het my meermale totaal verras, sodat ek bly is ek het wel besluit om die boek te lees. Die hoogtepunt in Yrsa se vertaalde oeuvre tot op hede is The silence of the sea, waarin sy ook 'n tweespoor-narratief aanwend, selfs nog meesterliker en verrassender as in The undesired. Tog is laasgenoemde 'n waardige toevoeging tot haar publikasielys - al sien ek sterk uit na die volgende avontuur van Thóra!
    more
  • Hodgep
    January 1, 1970
    There is a point in this book when you HAVE to keep reading to finish it. This author is a master in keeping chills running up the reader's spine in each chapter, beginning with placing the end of the story at the beginning. The reader is immediately engaged to find out what led to this situation. The reader knows that the two stories set in different time periods will lead to the resolution, and the author weaves the stories together most effectively. The two main characters appear to be quite There is a point in this book when you HAVE to keep reading to finish it. This author is a master in keeping chills running up the reader's spine in each chapter, beginning with placing the end of the story at the beginning. The reader is immediately engaged to find out what led to this situation. The reader knows that the two stories set in different time periods will lead to the resolution, and the author weaves the stories together most effectively. The two main characters appear to be quite unremarkable for the most part, the real main character not emerging until the end.This book had me wanting to run out and buy another book by this author. I shall keep this book as I met the author at Wordfest and she signed it, so select friends can borrow it.
    more
  • Abby Slater- Fairbrother
    January 1, 1970
    I have recently read The Reckoning, which is #2 in The Children’s House series of novels. I have also read and absolutely LOVED, why did you lie? So, I was intrigued to read Sigurdardottir’s back catalogue of novels. This novel appealed to me, due to its themes of juvenile detention and eerie/horror thrills. I like a good scare occasionally. I actually put this down at one point, reading alone at night as it began to freak me out! So, when it says it has eerie moments, it is not lying!‘Someone a I have recently read The Reckoning, which is #2 in The Children’s House series of novels. I have also read and absolutely LOVED, why did you lie? So, I was intrigued to read Sigurdardottir’s back catalogue of novels. This novel appealed to me, due to its themes of juvenile detention and eerie/horror thrills. I like a good scare occasionally. I actually put this down at one point, reading alone at night as it began to freak me out! So, when it says it has eerie moments, it is not lying!‘Someone always gets punished when a crime is committed, but not always the guilty party’ – Aldis The novel opens at the end quite an unusual start. It opens with the death of Odinn, in his car via poisonous fumes, as he thinks of his daughter Run. It is quite Vague, which I liked. I didn’t know if this was a murder, I can only assume due to the cover that it was so. But assuming anything, with one of Sigurdardottir’s novels is your first mistake!We then meet Odinn, very much alive and prior to his sealed fate. He works for a committee that is investigating potential historical case in residential settings. He has been assigned the case of the Krokur care home for delinquent boys, to investigate its practices in the 1970s. Odinn has been assigned this case after his work colleague died at her desk, of a heart attack. The committee is under great stress and Odinn must continue to investigate despite no allegations have been alleged. We learn more about Odinn personal, that he is a single father to his daughter Run. That his ex-wife Lara recently fell to her death from her window. This tragic accident left his young daughter (11yrs) traumatised and Odinn has her attending counselling to deal with the grief. The novel then jumps back in time to 1974. Where we meet Aldis as she begins work at Krokur. There are currently seven boys and a new arrival pending. The boys are aged 13-16yrs old and have committed relatively minor crimes. Things that nowadays wouldn’t be considered subject to such harsh punishment. Although nobody should be subject to the punishment dished out at Krokur. The owners are a couple named Lilja and Veigar, they are recovering from the loss of their stillborn baby. Krokur is based in a remote location, SW of Reykjaner peninsula, meaning staff rarely get to leave. The owners are bizarre and their behaviour serves to become more and more alarming! Hakon, Malli and Steini are the three male members of staff that board with Aldis. Everything about Krokur just screams ‘get me out of here’. I simply don’t know how Aldis withstood it. It is through the arrival of new ‘inmate’ Einar we learn more of Aldis’s background. As she begins to form quite a strong bond with the new young man. She is eager to know what crime he has committed to land him at Krokur but staff do not have access to the boys files. The boys dormitory is locked at night, there are bars amongst the windows and they are surely given the full ‘prison experience’. But if the boys are locked in every night, who is it that the owners claim to have seen on the grounds at night. Does Krokur have its own prowler? If so, what do they hope to achieve?As Odinn continues to dig into Roberta’s files, he finds mis-matched information and from what he can understand Krokur seemed to offer humane care. That is until he uncovers the two deaths by ‘accident’ and digs deeper into their personal history. At the same time he begins to personally investigate Lara’s alleged accident. He hopes that if he can understand some of the facts, he can help his daughter come to terms with her loss. Run’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic and she claims her mother in angry with her in heaven. ‘Perhaps the day of reckoning had come’ – OdinnOdinn eventually manages to track down one of the former residents and one of the former owners of Krokur. I couldn’t wait to read their point of view and found myself racing through the pages, at rapid speed. Odinn also uncovers some threatening emails in Roberta’s computer. Somebody didn’t want this home under investigation. But why? Was Roberta’s death an accident or something more sinister?‘Bloody nosy bitchleave well aloneor You’ll regret it’ Aldis is caught in a power cut with one of the young boys Tobbi. After she catches him in the cellar. The entire incident gave me goosebumps! I cannot accurately describe it, but it is such an eerie sinister moment in the whole book! It left me putting the book, down for the night, to prevent nightmares. Odinn interviews Pytti at the Hladgerdarkot treatment centre. He is introduced to the man, via Kegga one of the staff at the centre. She gives Odinn some of Pytti’s history. It becomes clear this is a man that has consistently struggled with his past. Leading him down a never ending path of addiction and suffering. Pytti informs Odinn that he spent 11 months at Krokur for breaking a window at school. He tells of the appalling conditions, of no education, enforced labour and bible study. He also remarks about the physical and verbal abuse withstood. But maintains that Lilja was the worst of the bunch. . . “It doesn’t alter the fact that if you want to look after children properly you have to love them. And people seem incapable of that” – Kegga In 1974, Aldis begins to snoop further and further into the owner’s office. Determined to uncover something she knows has been kept from her, along the way, discovering more truths.‘Her mother had once told her that those who eavesdrop never hear well of themselves’ – Aldis Odinn prepares to meet an elderly Lilja at the geriatric ward. Unknowing this will be the interview that not only unravels the case but unravels his entire life. No one and nothing is as it seemsThis novel has a fantastic ending that leaves you in utter disbelief! I couldn’t believe how many clues I had failed to pick up upon. The author clearly had me, the reader in the palm of her hand. I was so distracted by the various characters stories and spooky episodes. That I completely missed how it all interconnected. Breath-taking ending 5*
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    Me ha gustado pero no me ha encantado. Demasiada "paja" para mi gusto. Descripciones muy extensas que me han hecho perder el interés. El último 25% engancha, indiscutiblemente, y no puedes parar de leer, pero hasta llegar a ese punto... me ha costado. El caso es que está muy bien la trama, la historia contada a dos tiempos para enlazarse al final, las sospechas, los personajes... pero tanta extensión en detalles sin importancia, me han aburrido.
    more
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    This book starts at the (almost) end of the story – two people trapped in a car barely conscious, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a good start since obviously, as the story proper begins on the next page, I am already hooked wanting to find out the who, what, where, when and why of the whole thing.Odinn’s days as an occasional weekend dad are over. With the accidental (or maybe not?) death of his ex-wife he now has sole responsibility for his daughter’s care. Although he embraces This book starts at the (almost) end of the story – two people trapped in a car barely conscious, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a good start since obviously, as the story proper begins on the next page, I am already hooked wanting to find out the who, what, where, when and why of the whole thing.Odinn’s days as an occasional weekend dad are over. With the accidental (or maybe not?) death of his ex-wife he now has sole responsibility for his daughter’s care. Although he embraces this change in his lifestyle his daughter’s recovery from the shock of her mother’s death is something he is ill prepared to deal with … especially when he has no recollection of where he was during those fatal hours. Add to that the fact that his ex-wife seems to be haunting both him and his daughter, his life has definitely taken a spiral into the unknown.While all this is going on in his personal life he has also been tasked with a new assignment at work. The new job is not overly difficult for him to tackle, but once again things are not as they seem and the further he investigates a, now defunct, home for boys where two other accidental deaths occurred. It takes a little turn towards the sinister when the facts he unearths take an unexpected turn to intersect with his own life.This story is told in two narratives which begin to come together about two thirds of the way through the book. I have come to expect this style in Ms. Sigurdardottir’s works. She utilizes this writing style well and since I am aware of it I find it adds to the suspense of the book. I catch myself reading a little faster after the halfway mark – curious to find out how the two story lines are going to intersect – I was not disappointed when I came to the surprise revelation being honestly able to say “I really didn’t see it coming”.In the stand-alone books I have read by this author there is always a ghostly element to them that appeals to my enjoyment of a good “creepy” factor. It is not always a ghost but Ms. Sigurdardottir absolutely has the talent to string me along and give me some chills along the way!This was an entertaining read that kept me turning the pages so I’ll put it at a solid four stars.
    more
  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    AUTHOR Sigurdardottir, YrsaTITLE: The UndesiredDATE READ: 03/01RATING 4.5/B+GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction/ 2015 / Hodder & Stoughton / 353 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: SACHARACTERS Odinn/ single father Run/ his daughter TIME/PLACE: Present / Iceland FIRST LINES Odinn Hafsteinsson missed the heft of a hammer in his hand, missed taking aim, raining down blows on a four-inch galvanised nail. COMMENTS: Really enjoyed this one & will read more by this author. Odinn used to work f AUTHOR Sigurdardottir, YrsaTITLE: The UndesiredDATE READ: 03/01RATING 4.5/B+GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Crime Fiction/ 2015 / Hodder & Stoughton / 353 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: SACHARACTERS Odinn/ single father Run/ his daughter TIME/PLACE: Present / Iceland FIRST LINES Odinn Hafsteinsson missed the heft of a hammer in his hand, missed taking aim, raining down blows on a four-inch galvanised nail. COMMENTS: Really enjoyed this one & will read more by this author. Odinn used to work for his successful brother in a more physical-oriented business (construction) . When his former wife dies accidentally he becomes the full-time father for his young daughter and his career path changes to one w/ more regular hours. His x-wife's death is a bit of a mystery -- falling from her window. There is the hint that someone else may have been around and pushed her … and there are times Odinn isn't sure even about himself since he does drink excessively at times and is unable to remember that evening w/o a doubt… Meanwhile in his current position he takes over a file looking into a group home / alternative to prison for teenaged boys. There were 2 deaths that were accidental … and there may be ties to the present.
    more
  • Andy Weston
    January 1, 1970
    As a big Sigurdardottir fan I was quite disappointed by this. I had thought she was at her best writing about crime with a tinge of the supernatural, or part ghost story, but here she has failed to fulfil that promise. I Remember You is her strongest book for me, but all have been very good, 4-5 stars. The story here centres around a children's home in the 1970's and has a dual time line running to the modern day. The setting therefore isn't particularly special and different, having just read T As a big Sigurdardottir fan I was quite disappointed by this. I had thought she was at her best writing about crime with a tinge of the supernatural, or part ghost story, but here she has failed to fulfil that promise. I Remember You is her strongest book for me, but all have been very good, 4-5 stars. The story here centres around a children's home in the 1970's and has a dual time line running to the modern day. The setting therefore isn't particularly special and different, having just read The Two O'Clock Boy (Mark Hill), and Joanne Harris. Relationships between staff and youngsters at the home are declining and trouble is in the air. Meanwhile detective Odinn, whose wife has recently died, is investigating, as also his fellow police office investigating has just died. The tale takes unexpected twists, but not in the way that rewards the reader, more that confuses. The element of 'mystery' that is so strong in Yrsa's other novels is strangely hard to find, and too often I was checking how many pages left, to get this over with.
    more
  • Bruce Hatton
    January 1, 1970
    Another engrossing and chilling novel from this highly accomplished Icelandic author. The chapters alternate between a current-day investigation into abuse at a children's home in the 1970s and an account of life at the home as told by a young female cleaner.As the two stories unfold they also converge and the lead investigator finds himself in a highly compromising position. The twists and turns in the plot over the final chapters would do Jeffery Deaver proud.
    more
  • Kaisu
    January 1, 1970
    Ein ruhiges Buch, das dennoch spannend zu lesen ist. Und die Rückblicke haben mich immer an den schwedischen Film "Evil" von der Kulisse und dem Feeling erinnert :3
  • Agnieszka T.
    January 1, 1970
    Nooo, to Yrsa pozamiatała, muszę przyznać, że totalnie wywiodła mnie w pole!
  • Jacq
    January 1, 1970
    Not as creepy as some of the others... But I did feel a chill!
  • Morgan Dhu
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in translation, in English, but since Goodreads doesn’t seem to have an entry for the translation, I’m recording it under the entry for the original. In The Undesired, Yrsa Sigurdardottir demonstates once again that she is a master of a very particular genre, the eerie, part crime, part horror novel.The Undesired opens with the death of the main character, Odinn. He is intoxicated, brain overwhelmed by carbon dioxide, half-aware that he and his daughter are sitting in a running I read this book in translation, in English, but since Goodreads doesn’t seem to have an entry for the translation, I’m recording it under the entry for the original. In The Undesired, Yrsa Sigurdardottir demonstates once again that she is a master of a very particular genre, the eerie, part crime, part horror novel.The Undesired opens with the death of the main character, Odinn. He is intoxicated, brain overwhelmed by carbon dioxide, half-aware that he and his daughter are sitting in a running car in a shut up garage filled with exhaust fumes. He struggles to remember where he is, and why, what is happening to him and Run. Just as the answers coalesce in his mind, as he begins to realise how this has come to be, the fumes overcome him. He will think no more.We then travel backward in time, to a point some time before the deaths, to follow the unwinding of the life of Odinn Hafsteinsson. Odinn is an engineer by training, but he works for the State Supervisory Agency. He’s been assigned to take over an unfinished project from a recently deceased colleague, assessing whether any of the surviving children who had lived in a now closed home for delinquent boys - a home where two boys had died under suspicious circumstances - suffered harm or abuse. Odinn is also a single father. His marriage ended a number of years ago, and he has been a weekend father for most of this time. But his former wife, Lara, died in an accident - a fall from a window in her flat - and now he is raising his eleven year-old daughter Run. He’s been in a state of shock, not really acknowledging that she’s dead, and to try to bring himself to face reality, he forces himself to read the police files on her death that he was given after the investigation was closed - only to discover that there were some unanswered questions, and that some of the witness testimony suggested that Lara had been arguing with someone just before her death. But investigation could find no one other than their daughter Run who could possibly have been in the flat, and she had been asleep when the police had brought her grandmother - who lived close by - to be with her when they went into the apartment. The second viewpoint character is Aldis, whose sections are set in the 1970s, when the Krokur home was open, and Aldis worked there as a domestic. The environment she describes is cold, grey and isolated - a farm on a peninsula well away from the city, run by a cheerless, uncharitable couple who concealed the death of their newborn, fatally deformed child. Most boys who arrive here have the life and hope drained from them - no schooling, no recreational activities, just work on the farm. Aldis is not happy there either - her employers are unpleasant, there’s no social life, and she has been hearing odd noises, seeing strange things that she can’t quite make sense of. Then a new resident arrives. Einar, older than many of the youths - older, in fact, than he should be, to be sent to a youth care facility rather than being dealt with as an adult - is intelligent, prone to breaking the rules, and just a little bit mysterious. Aldis, who is barely a year or two older than Einar, feels strangely drawn to him, and they begin an affair.As one expects in a novel by Sigurdardottir, there are unexpected connections between characters, and between past and future. The events that took place in the lonely care facility, including the death of the two residents, have an all too disturbing bearing on both Lara and Odinn’s deaths, one that only becomes fully clear at the very end of the novel, when we discover the deep and enduring pain that set these events into motion, and we realise that the cycle has not yet run its course.
    more
  • Louis Skye
    January 1, 1970
    Yet another Yrsa Sigurdardottir novel I loved!This standalone book is set in two time frames - present day and 1974. In the present, single father Oddin is trying to bring up his daughter Run following a tragic accident that killed her mother 6 months ago. Oddin is also taking on the case load of a fellow worker who died of a heart attack. The case is a cold case related to the deaths of two teenagers at a care home. But, unbeknownst to Oddin, this old case will leave its mark in him.Meanwhile, Yet another Yrsa Sigurdardottir novel I loved!This standalone book is set in two time frames - present day and 1974. In the present, single father Oddin is trying to bring up his daughter Run following a tragic accident that killed her mother 6 months ago. Oddin is also taking on the case load of a fellow worker who died of a heart attack. The case is a cold case related to the deaths of two teenagers at a care home. But, unbeknownst to Oddin, this old case will leave its mark in him.Meanwhile, in 1974, Aldis has run away from home after a falling out with her mother. She has taken up position as the cleaner of Krokur care home. Life is now a daily drudgery, made ever more miserable thanks to the cold and harsh managers. Then, a mysterious new inmate joins the home. Aldis’ life will never be the same again. Unlike most of Sigurdardottir’s books, this isn’t a straight up murder mystery. In fact, the murders have a small part to play in the story. The book is much more about Oddin and Aldis and how they are trying to cope with their lives and circumstances. There’s also a large supernatural element, though it is not a horror novel. This book could best be described as a character study wrapped in a supernatural mystery. This was a surprisingly easy read, much more so than the author’s other works, mainly because professions and occupations didn’t have to be explained. As it wasn’t a police procedural or a lawyer’s investigation, the story was able to focus fully on the characters and their reactions to events around them. Having said that, there is still an unexpected twist at the end that caught me by surprise but still made perfect sense. I like that one could figure out the mysteries along with the characters. Another thrilling book by Sigurdardottir; she is fast becoming my favourite crime writer.
    more
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars.This is definitely a creepy thriller that grabs you from the start (The End!).The book begins with a scene that is actually the finale of the book and then the story itself takes you through the events that lead up to this dramatic conclusion.Odinn is a single father trying to raise an 11 year old daughter after a tragedy claims the life of his ex-wife. Doing his best to provide a life of stability, Odinn takes a new job and puts his daughter Run into therapy. After the death of a coll 4.5 stars.This is definitely a creepy thriller that grabs you from the start (The End!).The book begins with a scene that is actually the finale of the book and then the story itself takes you through the events that lead up to this dramatic conclusion.Odinn is a single father trying to raise an 11 year old daughter after a tragedy claims the life of his ex-wife. Doing his best to provide a life of stability, Odinn takes a new job and puts his daughter Run into therapy. After the death of a colleague, Odinn is assigned a case where he needs to investigate a care facility that housed young boys in trouble with the law.The book alternates between Odinn's life in the present (his investigation and his struggle to do right by his daughter) with the past (which focuses on a young girl who works at the home as a cleaner). This book is creepy and has a haunting feel of a great ghost story. At no time is the reader 100% sure as to exactly how past and present events occurred (no spoilers!). This is definitely a page turner that keeps the reader enthralled throughout!Highly recommended for its atmospheric prose and ability to put this reader on the edge of her seat!
    more
Write a review