The Reckoning by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Detective Huldar’s star has fallen in the Reyjkavik police force after his last case. He never wanted to be in charge of the unit but now he’s been demoted back to detective and is being ostracized by his colleagues. He is not thrilled with the ridiculous things he’s being forced to investigate like the list of initials written by a child and placed in a recently unearthed time capsule of all the people who will die that year. Reluctantly child psychologist Freyja, also demoted after the recent case and harboring ill feelings towards Huldar, joins the investigation as bizarre murders that could be linked to the note but also could be related to the release of a notorious paedophile and child murderer begin to occur around the city.

You did not have to read the first book in the series to enjoy this one but it does help. The author does a wonderful job recapping the first book so that those who did read it remember what happened and those who didn’t aren’t in the dark about the tension between Huldar and Freyja. The author crafts a perfect balance between developing the characters and the backstories of our investigators and advancing the investigation and exploring the motivations of the suspects and puzzling out the crimes. Those only looking for a mystery and not caring about the backstory won’t be disappointed. The mystery is solid and even when I thought I knew whodunnit I still felt uneasy about one thing that the author resolved for me on the last page. I didn’t see that one coming!