Publication Order of Thora Gudmundsdottir Books
|Last Rituals||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|My Soul to Take||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Ashes to Dust||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Day is Dark||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Someone to Watch Over Me||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Silence of the Sea||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Standalone Novels
Yrsa Sigurdardottir was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, on August 24, 1963. This award winning Icelandic author is famously known for her gritty and hard hitting crime novels set within the suburbs of Iceland. She has authored a successful award winning crime series of books based around the central character of Thora Gudmundsdottir, who is a lawyer and single mother of two children. She has also written, to critical acclaim, several stand alone thrillers and horror novels. Yrsa started to write fiction in 1998.
Although she predominantly writes crime fiction under the fiction umbrella of ‘Nordic noir’ she has also authored five books for children and teenagers. She wrote The Danes Were in Trouble There, (Par Iagu Danir i pvi), which was her first book for children in 1998. She has also won many awards for her children’s writing, one of which was the coveted Icelandic Children’s Book Prize in 2003 for her story, Bloborn. In 2000 she was given the Icelandic Department of International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY) Award for her book, We Want Christmas in July (Vio viljum jolin i juli).
Yrsa graduated from high school in 1983. She originally trained as a civil engineer as she had gained a B. Sc in Cilvil Engineering in 1988 from the University of Iceland and then further gained an M.Sc from the Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in 1987. This was also in the field of civil engineering. She still works as a civil engineer today and is a divisional manager for Fjarhitun, one of Iceland’s biggest engineering firms, as well as being a full time writer.
She is married and has two grown up children and lives in the Reykjavik suburb of Seltjarnarnes. She wrote her debut crime fiction novel, Last Rituals, in 2005, and it was published by Verold Publishing. It was translated into English in 2007 by the translator Bernard Scudder. Her books to date have been translated from their native Icelandic tongue into many different languages and have been sold in over thirty countries.
Yrsa has won many awards for her crime writing. Her second book in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series, My Soul to Take, made it to the 2010 Shamus Award shortlist. Her stand alone crime novel, I Remember You, won the Icelandic Crime Fiction Award in 2011 as well as being nominated for the much sought after Glass Key Award. In 2015 she won the Patrona Award for her crime novel, The Silence of the Sea, which is in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series of books.
As already mentioned Yrsa is most famous for her series of books that centre around the female lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir. She is a single mother of two children, Soley and Gylfi, who are ten years apart in age. She struggles between balancing her work commitments, looking after her children and finding love. Thora is an extremely likeable and realistic character, who appears to be like any other hardworking mother; it’s just that she has a nose for finding trouble and for wanting to solve murder mysteries, instead of leaving these particular problems to the police. Throughout this dark crime series of books we meet several characters. One returning character is Matthew Reich. He is a German ex policeman and he helps Thora on her journey to solving the mutters that she becomes entangled with. During the book series their relationship grows and we see the dynamics between them change, that help with the overall character and plot development. We are also introduced to Thora’s ex husband, Hannes, who is a surgeon. He plays very much a supporting role within the narrative, but through Thora’s descriptions of him and their endless telephone conversations, we learn that their divorce was hardly amicable but that he is a good father.
The first book in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series is Last Rituals. At the beginning of the book we learn that a German student, who is studying Icelandic history, is brutally murdered within his University campus. The killing is particularly grotesque as his eyes have been gouged out. The police arrest a man, a fellow student and drug dealer, but his family believe they have the wrong man. This is when they decide to hire Thora, in the hope that she can find the true killer. This is when the reader first meets Matthew. He is a family friend and they introduce him to Thora, so that he can help her with the investigation. However things do not go quite as Thora planned, as in her eyes, Matthew is more of a hindrance than help. Where their investigation leads them is into the dark and disturbing world of torture and witchcraft. However although the subject matter is rather dark, there are some brilliantly funny and quirky moments in this book that make it a lighter read than what the subject matter projects. This original crime novel that is set in the depths of winter has had comparisons made to the writings of Tess Gerritsen and Kathy Reichs.
The second book in the Thora Gudmundsdottir crime series is My Soul to Take. This award winning novel opens with a murder having been committed at a newly opened health spa that has recently been renovated from a derelict farmhouse. The murder victim is a young woman, the architect who helped to design the spa, and she is found dead on the beach with pins having been inserted into her palms. The owner of the spa, who becomes the police’s chef suspect, calls on the help of Thora to represent him and to help plead his innocence. However all is not as it seems in the spa, with stories that the building is haunted. During her investigation, Thora is joined once again by Matthew, who is on holiday. He assists her with uncovering the truth. What they do find, is that rather unpleasant things occurred at the farmhouse many decades ago and that they have become intertwined with their current investigation.
The books of Yrsa Sigurdardottir have put Iceland firmly on the crime writers map, along other prolific writers such as Arnaldur Indriuason.Book Series In Order » Authors » Yrsa Sigurdardottir