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Gallows Rock

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On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it...The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn't seem to h On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it...The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn't seem to have any link with the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawings show he witnessed something terrible. As detective Huldar hunts the killer, and child psychologist Freyja looks for the boy's parents, the mystery unfolds: a story of violence, entitlement, and revenge.


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On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it...The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn't seem to h On a jagged, bleak lava field just outside Reykjavik stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until this morning, when a man was found hanging from it...The nail embedded in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But when the police go to his flat, a further puzzle awaits: a four-year-old boy has been left there. He doesn't seem to have any link with the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawings show he witnessed something terrible. As detective Huldar hunts the killer, and child psychologist Freyja looks for the boy's parents, the mystery unfolds: a story of violence, entitlement, and revenge.

30 review for Gallows Rock

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. (2017 in Icelandic, 2020 in English). (Children's House/Freyja & Huldar #4) On a jagged, bleak lava field stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until a man is found hanging from it... The nail in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But then a further puzzle awaits: a 4 year old boy is found alone in the murder victim's flat. He doesn't seem to have any link to the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawin Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. (2017 in Icelandic, 2020 in English). (Children's House/Freyja & Huldar #4) On a jagged, bleak lava field stands the Gallows Rock. Once a place of execution, it is now a tourist attraction. Until a man is found hanging from it... The nail in his chest proves it wasn't suicide. But then a further puzzle awaits: a 4 year old boy is found alone in the murder victim's flat. He doesn't seem to have any link to the victim, his parents cannot be found, and his drawings show he witnessed something terrible. As detective Huldar hunts the killer, and child psychologist Freyja looks for the boy's parents, the mystery unfolds: a story of violence, entitlement, and revenge. I want to note firstly that yes this is a series but yes you can absolutely read this as a standalone if you wish. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is one crime series that I'm happy to commit myself to (waiting anxiously for each English translation haha). I like both Huldar and Freyja and I quite enjoy their 'will they hook up or won't they' relationship. Although I did feel that novel had less character and relationship development in comparison to the previous books in the series. This book contains another puzzling crime that will keep readers guessing until the end. There are many clever plot twists to keep readers engaged. I highly recommend this novel for any reader that enjoys detective crime stories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Gallows Rock it’s a fourth instalment in Freya and Huldar series and I was waiting with anticipation to start reading it. In Yrsa’s latest book we follow the police team investigating a murder of a wealthy man but the case gets quickly complicated when they discover a young child alone in his flat. While searching for a killer they need to find boy’s parents who seemed disappear as well. As expected with the author’s books the story is gripping and dark, incredibly well written and full of twist Gallows Rock it’s a fourth instalment in Freya and Huldar series and I was waiting with anticipation to start reading it. In Yrsa’s latest book we follow the police team investigating a murder of a wealthy man but the case gets quickly complicated when they discover a young child alone in his flat. While searching for a killer they need to find boy’s parents who seemed disappear as well. As expected with the author’s books the story is gripping and dark, incredibly well written and full of twists. It was a very absorbing read that kept my mind constantly busy trying to figure out a link between boy and the murdered man. The plot itself is definitely less gruesome and slower in pace than in the previous book but nonetheless still very engaging. I only wished we could see more of Huldar and Freya’s relationship but I guess I have to wait till the next book in the series. I love Yrsa’s books and and this one was no exception. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Gallow’s Rock is the fourth in the Children’s House series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir featuring police officer Huldar and Child Psychologist, Freya. There were elements of this book that I really liked but somehow it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I really really wanted to give it four stars because I usually love all Icelandic Noir but ended up with a three star rating. While Gallow’s Rock is a Huldar and Freya thriller, I didn’t get a sense of any character development for either of them. The st Gallow’s Rock is the fourth in the Children’s House series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir featuring police officer Huldar and Child Psychologist, Freya. There were elements of this book that I really liked but somehow it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I really really wanted to give it four stars because I usually love all Icelandic Noir but ended up with a three star rating. While Gallow’s Rock is a Huldar and Freya thriller, I didn’t get a sense of any character development for either of them. The story tended to be very plot focused (which is not a bad thing) as opposed to character focused. Freya was almost featureless throughout the book and really acted as a supporting character. I find Huldar and Freya both a little cheesy and cliche too even though they are essentially likeable albeit somewhat predictable. The plot developed with intrigue and generally kept my interest. However the last fifty pages or so became way too detailed for me and I found it hard to focus and take in the complexity of the storyline. Gallow’s Rock focuses on seem very topical subjects that are significant issues in the 21st century. Overall a solid three stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of Gallows Rock, the fourth novel to feature child psychologist Freyja and police detective Huldar. A man is found hanging from Gallows Rock, a tourist attraction outside Reykjavik, but the bolt through his chest indicates murder rather than suicide. Things get stranger when they go to Helgi’s flat and find a four year old boy, Siggi, alone there. Freya looks after him while Huldar tries to find Siggi’s parents and Helgi’s I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of Gallows Rock, the fourth novel to feature child psychologist Freyja and police detective Huldar. A man is found hanging from Gallows Rock, a tourist attraction outside Reykjavik, but the bolt through his chest indicates murder rather than suicide. Things get stranger when they go to Helgi’s flat and find a four year old boy, Siggi, alone there. Freya looks after him while Huldar tries to find Siggi’s parents and Helgi’s killer. I thoroughly enjoyed Gallows Rock which is an absorbing read full of twists and turns. It is told mostly from the investigative point of view so the reader can live it with them. I was captured by the unusual premise and then got really involved in the plot, trying to figure out the links and the motive. I got a couple of details but mostly I was just following the author’s lead. It’s clever the way small, easily overlooked details are woven into the outcome without giving any hints of what’s to come. I was hooked from start to finish. And what a finish, a final flourishing twist. This is a novel more about Huldar than Freyja as it’s all about the investigation of this very strange situation. I like the way the author includes modern themes, even if they aren’t pleasant, without baffling the reader with too much tech speak. The broad brushstroke approach to internet manipulation is very appealing and makes it understandable. I also like the humanity of the characters, Freyja wondering if she can afford a flat and Huldar trying to get a date with Freyja, among other things. They seem very normal and relatable. I like the small moments of humour in the novel, like Freyja’s flat hunting experience which made me laugh, again it’s the small observations that make it relatable. Gallows Rock is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kun Dániel

    Yrsa is one of the best Scandinavian crime writers of our time. I really like her books. I've read most of them. Unfortunately, this book is not the best and I didn't like it as much as the others. It's unnecessarily lengthy and although it's a Freyja and Huldar book, they are just secondary to the story. The mystery is not tricky or thought-provoking and there are no outstanding twists and turns. Personally, the character of Erla is getting too annoying and takes text away which could be used o Yrsa is one of the best Scandinavian crime writers of our time. I really like her books. I've read most of them. Unfortunately, this book is not the best and I didn't like it as much as the others. It's unnecessarily lengthy and although it's a Freyja and Huldar book, they are just secondary to the story. The mystery is not tricky or thought-provoking and there are no outstanding twists and turns. Personally, the character of Erla is getting too annoying and takes text away which could be used on Freyja and Huldar.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    A gripping and disturbing read, well written and entertaining. It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last. The plot is dark, full of twists and turns. The characters are well thought and interesting, the solid mystery kept me guessing. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine. A gripping and disturbing read, well written and entertaining. It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last. The plot is dark, full of twists and turns. The characters are well thought and interesting, the solid mystery kept me guessing. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)

    This is the fourth installment in the Freya and Huldar book series, authored by the superb Icelandic crime/horror fiction guru, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Sigurðardóttir is the writer of the legendary Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series (6 books in total) and several standalone horror/thriller, the most prominent being her masterpiece I Remember You, a ghost story narrated by multiple perspectives. I am one of her most ardent fans and I consider her to be a shining diamond in contemporary Nordic crime fiction This is the fourth installment in the Freya and Huldar book series, authored by the superb Icelandic crime/horror fiction guru, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. Sigurðardóttir is the writer of the legendary Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series (6 books in total) and several standalone horror/thriller, the most prominent being her masterpiece I Remember You, a ghost story narrated by multiple perspectives. I am one of her most ardent fans and I consider her to be a shining diamond in contemporary Nordic crime fiction, though I have to admit that the Huldar and Freya series doesn't meet my expectations so far. I enjoyed the first book, titled Legacy, but after that all the three books that followed left me with a bitter taste in the end, mainly because of the lack of the author's trademark characteristics like the horror dimension found in her previous novels, the supernatural implications, and the quirky main and secondary characters. Unfortunately, Gallows Rock proves to be another bland addition to this new series as the story and the plot are strictly within the limits of the classic police procedural novels that are bulging the crime fiction bookshelves in our time. Even the two previous installments, titled The Reckoning and The Absolution, were more or less reminiscent of the writer's prose and narrative style as well as similar in terms of plotline. But in this one, Yrsa cuts any ties with her past work and delivers a story that follows closely the police investigation of a brutal murder by hanging in the lava fields outside Reykjavik, in a place called the Gallows Rock. To read my full review, please visit https://tapthelinemag.com/post/gallow...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Rather weak.Unnecessarily lenghty,repetitive. An extra star for the (weak again) twist at the end.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Freeman

    I am a fan of this author and this series. I really like Iceland as a setting and the characters for this series. For me this book held my interest, I also liked how the story lines came together.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Gallows Rock is the fourth in the Children's House series; as soon as I started reading it I got a warm sense of familiarity with Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s writing style that I love - well-paced, nice details and perfectly balanced between the plot and the ongoing series characters. As I am now a few books into the series I have grown to know the characters of Huldar and his colleagues Gudlaugur, Erla and (interesting new recruit) Lina and enjoy their interactions. Of course not forgetting Freyja and Gallows Rock is the fourth in the Children's House series; as soon as I started reading it I got a warm sense of familiarity with Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s writing style that I love - well-paced, nice details and perfectly balanced between the plot and the ongoing series characters. As I am now a few books into the series I have grown to know the characters of Huldar and his colleagues Gudlaugur, Erla and (interesting new recruit) Lina and enjoy their interactions. Of course not forgetting Freyja and her niece; I would like to see more of the Huldar and Freyja relationship but have come to accept it is a slow burner throughout the series. I felt the storyline in this book flowed along nicely although the plot was not quite as gripping and complex (or gruesome!) as the first 3 books. However, the ending was excellent and moving. Another great book in this brilliant series, at the end of these books I always feel sad to have left the characters behind for now, and look forward to reading the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    My favorite in this series so far!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    I really enjoyed this novel however equally I could have given it around three stars. It wasn’t a bad story at all and yet, something did seem to be missing with the pace and flow of it compared to her other novels. The story of a man found hanging that at first is believed to be a suicide turns out that it may not be a simple suicide and may have links to a number of sex clips online, the story started off great and then hit a strange patch that was a little bit of a struggle to get though befo I really enjoyed this novel however equally I could have given it around three stars. It wasn’t a bad story at all and yet, something did seem to be missing with the pace and flow of it compared to her other novels. The story of a man found hanging that at first is believed to be a suicide turns out that it may not be a simple suicide and may have links to a number of sex clips online, the story started off great and then hit a strange patch that was a little bit of a struggle to get though before picking up pace again, it was an enjoyable read although without going into spoilers I felt there was one plot point that could have been expanded upon further. However as I still did really enjoy it I decided to go with the five stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grada (BoekenTrol)

    This fourth book in the series was one that I was not really impressed by. Again there was a child involved, what made the connection between the children's house and the police necessary. But otherwise I thought it much the same as the previous ones. Bad relation between Halldur and his chef, a bad one also between him and Freya. A murder case that was really far fetched/didn't grab me. So after this one I'm not sure I'll pick up a book from this series again any time soon. (If new ones will be This fourth book in the series was one that I was not really impressed by. Again there was a child involved, what made the connection between the children's house and the police necessary. But otherwise I thought it much the same as the previous ones. Bad relation between Halldur and his chef, a bad one also between him and Freya. A murder case that was really far fetched/didn't grab me. So after this one I'm not sure I'll pick up a book from this series again any time soon. (If new ones will be brought out.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Calzean

    Iceland is full of exotic places so the location of the murder, being in the middle of a lava field near the President's residence on land where the original Icelandic settlers put down roots, makes this story. Cos the rest of it is fairly meat and potatoes police procedural stuff where everything comes together and there is a fairly protracted summary at the end, albeit with one little twist. Unfortunately the twist came too late to rescue me from my disinterest. Iceland is full of exotic places so the location of the murder, being in the middle of a lava field near the President's residence on land where the original Icelandic settlers put down roots, makes this story. Cos the rest of it is fairly meat and potatoes police procedural stuff where everything comes together and there is a fairly protracted summary at the end, albeit with one little twist. Unfortunately the twist came too late to rescue me from my disinterest.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    A thrusting and successful young business man found hanged in a traditional gallows site. Suicide or murder? An unidentifiable four year old found in the flat of the deceased. How come? Who? Here is a tightly plotted story with many an unexpected revelation involving two characters previously unknown to me : Huldar, and child psychologist Freyja, but who form the thread that links several books in a series. I'll read more, because I enjoyed getting a sense of the tightly-knit community in Reykja A thrusting and successful young business man found hanged in a traditional gallows site. Suicide or murder? An unidentifiable four year old found in the flat of the deceased. How come? Who? Here is a tightly plotted story with many an unexpected revelation involving two characters previously unknown to me : Huldar, and child psychologist Freyja, but who form the thread that links several books in a series. I'll read more, because I enjoyed getting a sense of the tightly-knit community in Reykjavík. I like it that even the good guys - the police and other professionals - are flawed, as are the victims. Tightly plotted and powerfully told - what more could a detective novel ask for?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen M

    So very good and so very much better than some of the other modern crime stories I have struggled with this year. As usual I managed to miss books and start at book four but I will soon read the earlier ones to find our put more about the relationship between Freya and Huldar. Interesting characters and the Icelandic setting is so different to anything I’ve read before. The plot line does not disappoint or signpost itself too clearly encouraging you to focus in on details. The translation is flu So very good and so very much better than some of the other modern crime stories I have struggled with this year. As usual I managed to miss books and start at book four but I will soon read the earlier ones to find our put more about the relationship between Freya and Huldar. Interesting characters and the Icelandic setting is so different to anything I’ve read before. The plot line does not disappoint or signpost itself too clearly encouraging you to focus in on details. The translation is fluid and enabling.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jayanne

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC! My first Yrsa Sigurdardóttir book and as a lover of Nordic noir in general, I was very pleased to receive a copy to read and review. I loved the investigative point of view and the general direction of the plot was very intriguing and entertaining to navigate and guess at! The book works well as a stand-alone however offers very little attachment to the characters, which I assume is established in earlier chapters of the series. As for the ending I felt it to Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC! My first Yrsa Sigurdardóttir book and as a lover of Nordic noir in general, I was very pleased to receive a copy to read and review. I loved the investigative point of view and the general direction of the plot was very intriguing and entertaining to navigate and guess at! The book works well as a stand-alone however offers very little attachment to the characters, which I assume is established in earlier chapters of the series. As for the ending I felt it to be a little anti-climactic and while others enjoyed the twist (and I did too!) I had pretty much guessed most of it by the time it arrived. Not a bad read but not mind-blowing to me by any means. Looking forward to reading more of Sigurdardóttir’s work!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anke

    Pre-ordered the German version, out April27, 2020

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Picken

    There are cliffs known as Gallows Cliffs or Hanging Rocks in Iceland. According to an old folk story these were used to execute thieves captured from their hideout in a ravine. Now these are a tourist attraction and this is where Helgi Fredrikkson is found hanged, with a nail from a nail gun embedded in his chest, though the message that had been attached is nowhere to be found. Not long afterwards, a young boy, Siggi, is found alone in a smart city apartment, following an anonymous complaint. Th There are cliffs known as Gallows Cliffs or Hanging Rocks in Iceland. According to an old folk story these were used to execute thieves captured from their hideout in a ravine. Now these are a tourist attraction and this is where Helgi Fredrikkson is found hanged, with a nail from a nail gun embedded in his chest, though the message that had been attached is nowhere to be found. Not long afterwards, a young boy, Siggi, is found alone in a smart city apartment, following an anonymous complaint. The boy, who is in good health, only knows his own name and the first names of his parents…but has no idea what his address is or whose apartment he is in – or how he got there. When it transpires that the flat belongs to the murdered man, nothing is any clearer. Freya from the Children’s House takes charge of Siggi as Huldar leads the investigation into Helgi’s death, with his boss Erla breathing down his neck as the pressure piles on to get this case solved. As ever with Sigurdardottir’s books, this is immaculately plotted with lots of smart thinking and a number of clever twisty details which add to the overall enjoyment. This story has a number of layers to it and Huldar and the team have a major task in front of them to work out what is behind the murder. This allows us to enjoy much more of the interaction between Erla, Huldar and the others in the team, including the newcomer, Line, who is a serious young woman with a formidable brain and who Erla finds it impossible to be other than rude to. As they assiduously follow all the leads from CCTV through to questioning his friends, the picture slowly and painstakingly starts to become clearer and we get a sense of what this case may really be about. But that still doesn’t answer the question as to why Siggi is in the murdered man’s flat. Though in this book the key player is Huldar, there is still a frisson between him and Freya, or at least Huldar thinks so and he uses what charm he has on her to try and get her to thaw a little towards him.He takes every opportunity to try and recover some of the ground that he opened up between them in previous books, as they consult over Siggi. Freya, meantime is looking for new accommodation and what her brother comes up with has the potential to create all sorts of mayhem in future books! Gallows Rock touches on some very dark themes (though less gory than in previous books – I still haven’t got over those first murders in The Legacy) as we begin to see how the two story lines are linked and the whole picture painted for us is a sorry tale of violence, masculine entitlement and depravity. The pace is slow and methodical as the investigation begins, but gathers pace as new developments occur and the tension is palpable as each lead offers a new glimpse into the case. I was completely engrossed in the story and in awe of the way that it unfolded as layer after layer was revealed, leaving a chilling and authentic trail to the exciting conclusion. Verdict: A truly impressive and deeply chilling plot with many layers set alongside lots of interplay and development which adds depth and emotional investment to characters whom we already have grown to know and like. Highly recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Petra Redmond

    Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a reading copy. When a man is found hanging at a tourist attraction named Gallows Rock, suicide is ruled out when a nail is found embedded in his chest. A further mystery awaits when the police find a four year old boy abandoned in the dead man’s flat. His parents can’t be found and he has no link to the dead man ... This is the fourth in the Freyja and Huldar series but the first book I've ever read by Yrsa Siggurdardottir. However, yo Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for sending me a reading copy. When a man is found hanging at a tourist attraction named Gallows Rock, suicide is ruled out when a nail is found embedded in his chest. A further mystery awaits when the police find a four year old boy abandoned in the dead man’s flat. His parents can’t be found and he has no link to the dead man ... This is the fourth in the Freyja and Huldar series but the first book I've ever read by Yrsa Siggurdardottir. However, you can read it as a standalone story - I was aware that there were back stories between the characters, but not knowing them didn't lessen any of the pleasure of reading it for me. It might be my first introduction to Yrsa Siggurdardottir but it certainly won't be my last (I've already ordered a copy of her first book) as I was hooked from the very first page and enthralled and completely drawn in throughout the book I had my thoughts on where several of the directions the book was heading but in the majority, most of them completely took me by surprise. And that to me, is was makes the perfect crime fiction novel. This is a story which builds and weaves perfectly. It's so twisty. The end chapters in particular are so twisty that you really don’t know where the story is heading. And just when everything seems nicely tied up - BAM! - another genius twist is added. Ending on an open note that leaves you wanting more, but not so open that you don’t feel sated. A fantastic cast of characters. It was clear that there had been links and relationships between the characters that I knew nothing of (having not read the previous titles) but I soon got the gist of where the land lies between everyone. I liked Huldar despite his clear inability to form long-lasting relationships but I feel like I didn't quite get the full measure of Freyja. One of the minor characters - the ever eager and punctilious Lina, the student on work experience - was actually my favourite character and I'd love to see her character developed further and for her to feature more in future books. But of course, the main spotlight has to shine on the formidable Erla. Terrifying as she is, she’s also at the centre of some of the more darkly humorous moments in the book - when she’s interviewing a suspect named Tomas and also a scene which had me laughing out loud involving her colleagues obvious fear of her - "Huldar doubted the staff in IT had exactly been competing for the job of discussing porn with Erla. They’d probably drawn straws and this poor sod had lost". Twists galore and a surprising ending, this is a book you'll want to devour in one sitting

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rich B

    A decent, if unspectacular Icelandic based crime story, continuing the Freya and Huldar series. This one hangs off the theme of a group of men secretly filming and sharing their one-night stands online. This ends up going wrong when the ringleader of the gang is found dead, hanging at the Gallows Rock mentioned in the title. There’s also a secondary, related plot revolving around domestic abuse. When the cops go to check out the dead guy’s flat, they find an abandoned and bewildered young child w A decent, if unspectacular Icelandic based crime story, continuing the Freya and Huldar series. This one hangs off the theme of a group of men secretly filming and sharing their one-night stands online. This ends up going wrong when the ringleader of the gang is found dead, hanging at the Gallows Rock mentioned in the title. There’s also a secondary, related plot revolving around domestic abuse. When the cops go to check out the dead guy’s flat, they find an abandoned and bewildered young child who can’t tell them where his parents are. As in the rest of the series, Huldar does most of the heavy lifting investigative work. The rest of the Icelandic police force seem worse than useless, fairly lazy and falling for obvious red herrings. Again, we have have the permanently shouty one-dimensional character of Inspector Erla, who doesn’t get any depth of character development. She’s just there to scowl and make everyone feel bad. Though, there’s a new character, an eager student / intern who does at seem care about the job, although she’s mostly ridiculed / bordering on bullied by most of her colleagues. Freya’s role mostly relates to the abandoned kid, though her back story moves on a bit as her brother’s now out of jail, and there’s a chance for her to move into a new apartment. Which involves looking after a snake. That doesn’t really go anywhere, but may be a set-up for future books. And it does gives us the chance to meet the inadvertently funny niece character of Saga again. On the whole, the story kept me engaged to the end, although the ending is very convoluted. Like the characters and the setting, but this story felt a bit flat overall, with no sense of excitement. Enjoyable enough, but middling, overall.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I really do enjoy the Children's House series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Well ... enjoy might be the wrong way of phrasing it, but the blend of the dark line with excellent characters and plotlines that keep you absolutely gripped just work perfectly, even if those same plotlines also have the ability to make you feel wholly uncomfortable and bring forth a myriad of emotions towards some of the books victims, and I am not necessarily referring to those who are murdered. As you can guess, from the t I really do enjoy the Children's House series by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Well ... enjoy might be the wrong way of phrasing it, but the blend of the dark line with excellent characters and plotlines that keep you absolutely gripped just work perfectly, even if those same plotlines also have the ability to make you feel wholly uncomfortable and bring forth a myriad of emotions towards some of the books victims, and I am not necessarily referring to those who are murdered. As you can guess, from the theme of Children's House, the sub-stories do not always make pleasant reading and there is a sense, at times, that the 'victims' are not necessarily the most sympathetic of characters. That is certainly so of the victim in this latest offering, Gallows Rock, but, to start with, we just don't know why. Now I am used to the author's stories being full of quite graphic murders and scenes that make me either do a double take or audibly utter an ewww to my rather perplexed cats. By those standards the murder in this book is actually quite tame, but no less forgettable. A hanging at an Icelandic tourist spot which, as the name suggests, was formally used for executions. Suicide or foul play? Well - we know the answer to that, present as we are as the man is led to his death, but why would anyone want to kill him? And why has a young boy been left alone in his apartment? Needless to say that it sets all minds whirring as to just what the dead man may have been up to. Now this is the next instalment in the Huldar and Freyja series but, in truth Freyja really takes a back seat in this tale, her interactions with the young boy key but only really secondary to what is happening. This story focuses more on Huldar and the police team as they try to get to the bottom of a very dark and complex case. There are so many layers in this investigation, so many seemingly unconnected events that seem to contradict each other and to bring so many things into question. The things we find out about the victim are quite disturbing, but the boy remains as the one things that really doesn't fit all of the things they are learning about him, the square peg in the deep and dark round hole. That uncertainty, the need to know what has really happened, kept me completely hooked to the story despite it being less gruesome than I have been accustomed too. Sometimes the most abhorrent acts don't have to come soaked in blood and gore to make an impact and that is certainly true here. I do love the interaction between Huldar and Freyja, the chemistry that exists between them, and this time around there seems to be a slight thawing in relations. Not that there was ever an issue from Huldar's side, but Freyja definitely keeps him at arms length, and it always brings a smile to my face watching the ever optimistic Huldar making one more play. Even Freyja's family gang up on her this time around, her young niece taking a shine to the Detective, understandably so as he is a wonderful character. Dedicated, honourable (mostly) and fun and yet ultimately professional when he needs to be. And there is some much needed light relief in the story when it comes to Freyja's domestic situation. WIth her brother returning home she is in need of a new apartment and the one she finds comes with a rather unorthodox condition attached to it. It definitely has the potential to put the brakes on any budding romantic link with Huldar ... Although a bit slower in pace than the previous books, and certainly less gruesome, this book still kept me rapt. There is such a skill to the author's writing, the way in which she creates tension and atmosphere and uses setting to bring and edge to the story, that it is difficult to put down. And she brings such a range of emotions out in me as a reader that I feel slightly battered myself when I finish reading. In this story it is often that which is undisclosed that has the highest impact, the idea of sacrifice and family and the bond between parents and child that means they will do anything to protect or avenge them. Truly powerful storytelling and characters I have come to love. What more can you ask for?

  23. 5 out of 5

    justonemorepage_

    This is actually a 3.5 As many of you may remember (or not), the "Children's House" series is one of my favorites. Gallows Rock is the fourth installment to this series, and it's one I think many would enjoy. That being said, there was something about this one, that I just didn't love as much as the other three. This was incredibly well written, and had her usual dark nature about it, but I think I just wanted it to be alittle darker. This was alittle slower than her previous three, but it had th This is actually a 3.5 As many of you may remember (or not), the "Children's House" series is one of my favorites. Gallows Rock is the fourth installment to this series, and it's one I think many would enjoy. That being said, there was something about this one, that I just didn't love as much as the other three. This was incredibly well written, and had her usual dark nature about it, but I think I just wanted it to be alittle darker. This was alittle slower than her previous three, but it had the same twisty nature as the others. It was completely unpredictable, and I had no idea where it was going. I think I made three separate guesses, and was wrong all three times🤣 This was one case Huldar and his team, could not wrap their heads around. Huldars team stumble across a man who they assume hung himself from Gallows Rock, it wasn't until they noticed a nail embedded into his chest, and a four year old boy at his house, that they decided this wasn't a suicide after all. Now his team will stop at nothing to discover what happened, and where this little boys parents are. . So please don't get me wrong, I don't want it to seem like I didn't enjoy this book because I really did. I just really, really liked the other three more. Perhaps it was because we didn't get to experience, as much of the Freyja and Huldar wreck of a "relationship" as we have in the previous books

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janice Chan

    This is the fourth book in The Children's House book series by Yrsa. I'm excited to read that there will be at least two more. Gallows Rock begins of course, with a crime. A man is murdered brutally by hanging from a traditional execution spot called Gallows Rock (there really is a Gallows Cliff, or Hanging Rock in Reykjanes where legend has it, thieves were hung). The site is visible from the summer house of the Icelandic prime minister, who is hosting a delegation from China there. This means This is the fourth book in The Children's House book series by Yrsa. I'm excited to read that there will be at least two more. Gallows Rock begins of course, with a crime. A man is murdered brutally by hanging from a traditional execution spot called Gallows Rock (there really is a Gallows Cliff, or Hanging Rock in Reykjanes where legend has it, thieves were hung). The site is visible from the summer house of the Icelandic prime minister, who is hosting a delegation from China there. This means that the victim must be out of site by the time the delegation arrives, and that police resources are already stretched to the limit. It falls to Huldar and the CID unit to investigate why someone would want to murder Helgi, and in such a vicious way. Freya, who works for The Children's House (a child protection agency) and the object of Huldar's unrequited affections, is bought into the picture when a four year old boy is found in the dead man's apartment, unable to remember how he got there, or to tell anyone exactly who his parents are or where he lives. This story is mostly about Huldar and the investigation into Helgi's death. As usual, the plot takes many unexpected twists and turns, and I was totally surprised by the ending. It also nicely sets up the next book, I think. Victoria Cribb does her usual excellent job as translator from Icelandic to English.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Knights

    Gallows Rock – Yrsa Sigurdardottir A VISIT a Japanese minister to Iceland is ruined when he looks across the bay and sees a man hanging from a tree. That's only the first headache for detective Huldar as he tries to find why among came to be there with a nail embedded in his chest to prove it's not suicide. When he searches the man' has horrified a four-year-old boy with no memory of how he came to be there where his parents live. Huldar calls in child psychologist Freyja, who discovers that the boy Gallows Rock – Yrsa Sigurdardottir A VISIT a Japanese minister to Iceland is ruined when he looks across the bay and sees a man hanging from a tree. That's only the first headache for detective Huldar as he tries to find why among came to be there with a nail embedded in his chest to prove it's not suicide. When he searches the man' has horrified a four-year-old boy with no memory of how he came to be there where his parents live. Huldar calls in child psychologist Freyja, who discovers that the boy has witnessed something horrible – which only makes the mystery even more complicated. It's a mystery I don't want to shed any light on, suffice to say this is a satisfying novel for fans of Nordic Noir by the likes of the excellent trio of Hakan Nesser, Arnaldur Indriðason and Ragnar Jonasson. Like them, Sigurdardottir tells her stories without fancy language, just believable characters, and matter-of-fact prose that pushes the story on relentlessly and builds up the tension. One of Iceland's top crime writers, Yrsa Sigurdardottir had already made her name when she started the Children's House series featuringHul.dar and Freyja. Following The Legacy, The Reckoning and The Absolution, this is the fourth in the series. David Knights

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison Alice-May

    The fourth book in the Huldar and Freya series and the pace doesn’t slow down. I loved everything about this series and the way the books are written. I am so surprised that they are translated, they feel like they were written in English. The character of Huldar is still as grumpy and prickly as ever. I loved that Freya’s baby niece formed a lovely, positive bond with him early on. Brilliant writing. This is such a well plotted book, with loads of lovely layers. The story is dark, as expected fr The fourth book in the Huldar and Freya series and the pace doesn’t slow down. I loved everything about this series and the way the books are written. I am so surprised that they are translated, they feel like they were written in English. The character of Huldar is still as grumpy and prickly as ever. I loved that Freya’s baby niece formed a lovely, positive bond with him early on. Brilliant writing. This is such a well plotted book, with loads of lovely layers. The story is dark, as expected from Yrsa’s work. I tried and failed to find the link between the young boy found in the dead man’s flat and the man himself. We spend some time in the book searching the dark web, and this is something that is becoming more regular in crime books. I’m not a fan. We don’t see anything to move the relationship on between Huldar and Freya, and that’s a shame. I love the spikiness of their relationship however and don’t want this to end anytime soon. I’m excited to see more of her new flat and her new relationship with a pet snake that she has to look after. I’m sure her niece will love the snake, as she seems to like the strange and weird. Next summer seems a long time to wait for the next book in this brilliant series, but wait I’ll have to.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eloise Robbertze

    Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir is another great domestic noir novel featuring Freyja and Hulder. This is the second novel of hers that I’ve read with these characters and I really enjoyed it. It is filled with twists, turns and suspense and while it was a little confusing in the beginning with the introduction of so many characters, things quickly fell into place. However, it was totally unpredictable and I never, ever saw the ending coming. The narrative is cleverly woven, with intricate d Gallows Rock by Yrsa Sigurdardottir is another great domestic noir novel featuring Freyja and Hulder. This is the second novel of hers that I’ve read with these characters and I really enjoyed it. It is filled with twists, turns and suspense and while it was a little confusing in the beginning with the introduction of so many characters, things quickly fell into place. However, it was totally unpredictable and I never, ever saw the ending coming. The narrative is cleverly woven, with intricate details that are easily overlooked until the final reveal, when the premise is finally understood. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters. The details of their lives and backstory add significantly to their characterization but in an easy-to-read manner that makes it feel like you’re getting to know a couple of friends. However, I like Freyja but I don’t like Hulder, and I’m not so sure about their relationship. The translation is excellent. I did not feel like I was reading a translated novel, so a shout-out to Victoria Cribb! #netgalley #gallowsrock #yrsasigurdardottir #hodder&stoughton

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    I love this series and it just gets better and better with this instalment being the fourth book and it’s a belter !! A man is found hanging at a place called Gallows Rock which is a tourist attraction and at first this seems like a suicide but when a bolt is found with a note pinned to his chest it clearly is a murder and Huldar is one if the first to the scene. Meanwhile Freya is is investigating a report of a child left alone in a luxury flat, and it seems somehow these two different storylines I love this series and it just gets better and better with this instalment being the fourth book and it’s a belter !! A man is found hanging at a place called Gallows Rock which is a tourist attraction and at first this seems like a suicide but when a bolt is found with a note pinned to his chest it clearly is a murder and Huldar is one if the first to the scene. Meanwhile Freya is is investigating a report of a child left alone in a luxury flat, and it seems somehow these two different storylines are connected and form the basis of the book. The book focuses mainly on Huldar and I was a little disappointed as I have to admit Freya is my favourite character of the series but I still loved the book and the humour especially Freya and the snake. It’s a fabulously translated book and all credit to Victoria Cribb for that. The plot is well crafted and I look forward to reading more in this wonderful series it’s one that I can highly recommend it has everything you would want in an excellent mystery thriller. My thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for honest opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kaye Fraser

    Having long been a fan of Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s writing, this new book in the ‘Children’s House’ series further cements her reputation as master of the dark, gripping ‘Nordic Noir’ genre. The book begins with a murder and an apparent kidnap and adds further disappearances and intrigue, taking the reader through the twists and turns of police investigations and coming to a brilliantly unpredictable resolution. Every character is convincingly drawn, and every one is real and believable, whether li Having long been a fan of Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s writing, this new book in the ‘Children’s House’ series further cements her reputation as master of the dark, gripping ‘Nordic Noir’ genre. The book begins with a murder and an apparent kidnap and adds further disappearances and intrigue, taking the reader through the twists and turns of police investigations and coming to a brilliantly unpredictable resolution. Every character is convincingly drawn, and every one is real and believable, whether likeable or not. The descriptions of place are also compelling, making the bleak Icelandic landscapes clearly visible. The plot is complex but always clear and engaging, keeping the reader gripped throughout. The translator (from the original Icelandic) Victoria Cribb must also share in this praise, as the writing is excellent throughout, with a deadpan character which suits the style and content superbly. Although this book stands very well on its own, reading the other books in the series first would help supply background and give the reader a chance to be gripped by even more of this exceptional writer’s work.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lee-anne Fox

    Another gripping instalment! Another gripping instalment in the Freyja & Huldar series, with twists and turns aplenty. The relationship between Freyja and Huldar proceeds as unhurriedly as before, but with the satisfying bonus that at least in this book he doesn't make any appalling gaffes so fingers crossed for some more developments in The Doll! The crime and mystery the teams are facing is complex and not easily solved, the connections are hard found and there is plenty of legwork involved fro Another gripping instalment! Another gripping instalment in the Freyja & Huldar series, with twists and turns aplenty. The relationship between Freyja and Huldar proceeds as unhurriedly as before, but with the satisfying bonus that at least in this book he doesn't make any appalling gaffes so fingers crossed for some more developments in The Doll! The crime and mystery the teams are facing is complex and not easily solved, the connections are hard found and there is plenty of legwork involved from the under staffed dept, while a Chinese delegation visits Iceland and uses up precious resources. It is refreshing to see procedures followed (even if not as precisely as Lína, the enthusiastic intern, might like!) and not easy jumps to the solution. But don't be misled, this process isn't dry, dusty or tedious reading, you will be engaged (& kept wondering!) throughout. The writing is the usual top quality, pacing just right and characterisation and setting excellent as ever, so as expected I thoroughly enjoyed it - and especially Saga's betrayal with Huldar!!

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