My Soul to Take (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir Series #2)

( 12 )

Overview

Long-buried secrets go hand in hand with modern-day murder in this second thriller featuring attorney Th?ra Gudmundsd?ttir from Iceland's queen of crime fiction

When the body of a young woman?badly beaten and with pins inserted into her feet?is found at a New Age health resort in a renovated farmhouse, lawyer and single mother of two Th?ra Gudmundsd?ttir is called upon to represent the chief suspect, the resort's owner. But upon her arrival she encounters more than a fresh ...

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My Soul to Take (Thóra Gudmundsdóttir Series #2)

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Overview

Long-buried secrets go hand in hand with modern-day murder in this second thriller featuring attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir from Iceland's queen of crime fiction

When the body of a young woman—badly beaten and with pins inserted into her feet—is found at a New Age health resort in a renovated farmhouse, lawyer and single mother of two Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is called upon to represent the chief suspect, the resort's owner. But upon her arrival she encounters more than a fresh corpse—local legend has it that the resort, located in the mystical region of Snæfellsnes on Iceland's west coast, is haunted. At first Thóra dismisses the claims as nothing more than myth and superstition, but even she can't explain the bizarre occurrences she witnesses in her search for answers.

As Thóra digs deeper into the farm's past, she discovers long-buried information on the property's disturbing history, and her once-solid view of reality begins to waver. Are the hauntings real, or just a case of folklore gone wild? And, more important, does the farm's eerie past have something to do with the murder? When another body is discovered—looking very much like the first—Thóra is forced to put aside her doubts and confront the horrors of the present before a twisted killer strikes again.

With its confident plotting, chilling atmosphere, and smart, compelling heroine, My Soul to Take confirms Yrsa Sigurdardóttir as a new maven of mysteries.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Sigurdardóttir's engaging second crime novel to feature attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir (after Last Rituals), Jónas Júlíusson, a client Thóra assisted with a land purchase in West Iceland, calls for more help. The superstitious Júlíusson, who believes one of the farmhouses on the land he bought to develop a spa and hotel is haunted, invites Thóra to stay at his facility and investigate. Her arrival coincides with the discovery under some seaweed on the beach of the sexually abused corpse of architect Birna Halldórsdóttir, who was working on a new building. Júlíusson, who apparently sent a text message arranging a rendezvous with the victim at the time and place where she died, becomes the prime suspect. The lawyer shifts gears from ghost busting to amateur sleuthing. As Thóra pursues an array of suspects and clues, Sigurdardóttir keeps readers guessing whodunit. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061143397
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/20/2010
  • Series: Thóra Gudmundsdóttir Series , #2
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 373,563
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Yrsa Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning author of five children's novels and a division manager with one of Iceland's largest engineering firms. She lives with her family in Reykjavík, Iceland.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Combines strong characterization and a setting imbued with legends and history

    First Line: The child felt the cold creeping up her legs and back, and she tried to sit up straight in the front seat to get a better view. The body of a young woman is found on the beach of a New Age health resort, and attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is asked to be present when the resort owner is questioned by the police. At first her time away could be considered a bit of a vacation away from the workplace and her children, but the feeling doesn't last long. The entire area is thought to be haunted, and as Thóra searches for the truth, even she can't explain some of the things she witnesses during her investigation. Has local legend gone wild, or is the resort's eery past tied in with the young woman's murder? Thóra is just the sort of character I wouldn't mind having as a friend, especially with her sense of humor. Her teenage son would be driving many other parents to drink, but Thóra has the knack of understanding that hormone-fueled teens are capable of doing crazy things, and she does an excellent job of remaining on a (more or less) even keel while trying to provide guidance and moral support. She can even see a glint of humor here and there on the horizon. I like this series, not only for showing me the landscape and weather of Iceland, but also its legends and little known history. The plot moves smoothly and definitely has an eerie edge to it, and Sigurdardóttir has populated it with well-drawn characters. Although you'd be able to read more about Thóra by reading the first book in the series, it's not necessary to do so. My Soul to Take stands alone quite well. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Intelligent mystery

    I love it when I'm pleasantly surprised by a new author. Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir's second crime novel featuring curious lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir put a smile on my face, and put her previous novel on my current wish list.
    "My Soul To Take" features Thora helping her resort-owner client, Jonas, who believes the resort property he is in the process of purchasing is haunted. He wants Thora to help him get a land discount because of the "defect."
    Jonas's resort is reputed to be haunted by the cries of unwanted infants who were left out in the Icelandic elements to freeze to death over the decades. One child, in particular, haunts the part of the resort where travelers stay. Numerous people, including those who don't really believe in ghosts, have experienced either the vision of the young girl ghost or the crying of the infants, and Jonas is afraid this will hurt his business.
    The family who has owned the farmland for generations denies any wrong-doing or child abuse, but Thora suspects they may not know the full details of the farm's history, and begins to uncover stories of Nazis, incest and murder.
    While Thora is in the process of investigating the farm's history, two murders occur which lead her to think she is on the right path and about to uncover something very unsavory.
    Thora, a single mother, lives in Iceland with her two kids, one of which is a teenaged expectant father. She has a long-distance German boyfriend named Matthew, who likes to visit Thora and ends up helping her solve murder mysteries related to the cases she takes on.
    Translated from the Icelandic language, this murder mystery has great characters, is intelligent and kept me on the edge of my seat.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    No escape from the past

    In MY SOUL TO TAKE, Yrsa Sigurdardottir's second book in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series, Thora travels to Iceland's west coast to assist a client who needs her help in a real estate transaction. He wants recompense from the people who sold him the property because the farmhouses he purchased have a hidden defect. They are haunted. Jonas has opened a New Age health resort complete with aura reader and he knows that the presence of ghosts will doom his venture. Jonas knows that there are ghosts; he has seen one. Shortly after Thora's arrival, the police come to talk to Jonas. The body of a woman has been found on the beach; it is Birna, the architect Jonas had hired to build an extension to the hotel. She is buried under seaweed and there are signs that the killer knows the culture of the area. Thora realizes she must stay at the resort longer than she had planned in order to protect Jonas' interests but she is also intrigued by the boxes of old photos and artifacts that Jonas claims have a connection to the hauntings. Among the photos is that of a little girl, the ghost Jonas saw while he was looking in a mirror. Among the ordinary photos and papers, Thora finds a Nazi flag, parts of a uniform, and magazines published by the Icelandic Nationalist Party. The past is very close to the present in this remote section of Iceland. Shame, guilt, greed, pride, and love reach back to 1945 and forward to the death of Birna. Superstition and fear combine for another murder. And Thora is the anchor of the story and the solution. LAST RITUALS involves murder and witchcraft and connects to the very distant past. MY SOUL TO TAKE involves murder and ghosts and connects to the recent past. MY SOUL TO TAKE is less grisly than LAST RITUALS but overall is more cruel.

    Both are well-worth reading. I look forward to the next book in the series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A fine mystery

    Jonas Juliusson buys a health spa in Snaefellsnes on Iceland's west coast with the help of his attorney single mother of two Thora Gudmundsdottir. However, he fears the property is haunted so he invites Thora to stay and investigate, which she agrees though feeling he is being silly heeding local myths.-----------------

    Upon arriving at the spa, Thora is greeted with the mutilated corpse of architect Birna Halldorsdottir who designed the new building. Jonas is the prime suspect since he sent the victim a text message to meet him at the place she was found dead. A second body also battered is soon found. Thora quickly changes her inquiry from ghost hunting to homicide hunting.--------------------

    MY SOUL TO TAKE is an exciting Icelandic amateur sleuth mystery starring a wonderful attorney who begins to slowly find clues that lead to several suspects with motives. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the single mom finds the first corpse and never slows down as the brave lawyer makes her inquiries while another body surfaces. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this fine mystery while seeking Thora's last case (see LAST RITUALS).--------------

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Liked the Book. A Good Read

    A good solid mystery and interestong story. A little too complicated at the end but am forgiving this minor flaw as the rest of the book was good. I kind of half guessed the ending early in the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    great for a quick escape

    interesting b/c it is set in Iceland

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2014

    Long, buried secrets and modern murder add up to a chilling read!

    When the brutal murder of a new age specialist follows closely on the tail of a murdered architect, long, buried secrets begin to take on a sinister meaning. Thóra Gudmundsdóttir returns in this, the second of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's Icelandic thrillers, as the smart, sassy lawyer whose tenaciousness uncovers the connection between the past and the present. The engaging characters, chilling setting, and confident plot add up to an enjoyable read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted August 26, 2014

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    Posted October 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

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    Posted March 9, 2013

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