The Absolution is the third installment in Queen of Icelandic crime fiction Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s series about the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.
The police find out about the crime the way everyone does: on Snapchat. The video shows a terrified young woman begging for forgiveness. When her body is found, it is marked with a number “2”.
Detective Huldar joins the investigation, bringing child psychologist Freyja on board to help question the murdered teenager's friends. Soon, they uncover that Stella was far from the angel people claim, but who could have hated her enough to kill?
Then another teenager goes missing, more clips are sent to social media, and the body with a “3” is found. Freyja and Huldar can agree on two things at least: the truth is far from simple. The killer is not done yet. And is there an undiscovered body carrying the number “1” out there?
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The subject matter and gruesome murders were almost too excruciating to read. Instead of revenge for despicable acts of bullying and cruelty, more focus on the underlying mental and emotional illnesses would have been hopeful at least. The social media hate and harassment must be stopped, and those being bullied must get the help and support needed! This global crisis must be addressed by mental health professionals, school authorities, workplace managers, clergy, and law enforcement all over the world. Bullies must be stopped and held accountable for their behaviors that inflict intense pain on their targets. I found myself thinking about the characters in this book long after I’d finished reading it. This book certainly raises awareness of the global crisis - no country is immune from the bullying and cyber harassment cruel and twisted people inflict on others.