Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s latest novel veers from her outstanding series featuring Reykjavik lawyer Thora Gudmundosdottir into a different realm. The queen of Icelandic Noir has written a chilling stand-alone in The Undesired.

Alternating between to storylines, she tells of a bleak boys home in the 1970s, where young Aldis slaves away under the unsympathetic couple who run the home, saving her money to leave for the big city. Drawn to one young man, Einar, that decision will have disastrous consequences.

In the present, Odinn has been given his full charge of his 11-yr old daughter, Run, after the accidental death of his ex-wife. The government employees has been given the task of investigating alleged abuse that boys home, decades after the time.

The creepy factor ratchets up high once the two storylines being to merge with the accident that killed his wife.

This not the fast-paced ride of a thriller, but a slow, psychological build to a chilling and inexorable climax.