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Someone to Watch Over Me: Thora Gudmundsdottir Book 5 Paperback – 27 Feb 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (27 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144473444X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444734447
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Iceland's answer to Stieg Larsson. (Daily Telegraph)

Yrsa is one of the most exciting new voices in the crime thriller world. (Peter James)

A tough and yet moving novel, lifted even further by its extraordinary originality of setting and theme. (50 Best Thrillers and Crime Novels of the Past 5 Years Sunday Times)

Put simply, it's terrifying. And brilliant. (Stylist)

Book Description

Chilling Icelandic crime from the internationally bestselling author of LAST RITUALS and ASHES TO DUST.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When a residential unit for disabled people is burned down, all the residents are killed bar one. Jakob has Downs Syndrome and a grievance - he never wanted to be placed in the unit and he doesn't like it there. It seems to be an open and shut case but, because of his disability, Jakob is sent to a secure psychiatric hospital rather than prison and it looks like he'll stay there for life. At least, until one of the other inmates asks lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir to try to get the case reopened...

This is a very well written entry into the field of Nordic crime - Iceland, on this occasion - and the translation by Philip Roughton is first-rate. Apparently this is the fifth in the series, but it's the first I've read. The characterisation throughout the novel is particularly strong and Thóra herself is a likeable lead, strong and capable but with a soft centre. As well as dealing with the case, she's having to juggle home life as her parents move in on a temporary basis to a house already filled with Thóra's children, grandchild and partner, Matthew.

In the course of her investigation, Thóra has to deal with people with a variety of severe disabilities. Sigurdardóttir handles this well, managing to convey the difficulties they face without becoming overly mawkish or sentimental. Thóra's dealings with the relatives of the victims show her sensitivity, particularly when dealing with Jakob's mother. And her aversion to Jósteinn, the psychopathic child abuser who has hired her, grows steadily as she wonders what his motivation is for wanting to help Jakob.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the fifth novel featuring the personable Reykjavik lawyer,
Thora Gudmundsdottir.
Josteinn is a manipulative sociopath who resides in a secure psychiatric
unit,having been convicted of sexual offences against children.With his
inheritence money he instructs Thora to investigate,with a view to
overturning,the conviction of a fellow inmate Jakob. Jakob is a young
male with Down's syndrome who has been found guilty of burning down his
care home ,killing five people.
The ever persistent Thora's investigations are hampered by some of the
witnesses having severe disablilities,including one with locked-in
syndrome,and also by the lies,half-truths,and cover-ups from people
with their own interests to protect.
A brave unusual and thoughtful thriller.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 April 2014
Format: Paperback
I've been thoroughly enjoying this author's books, and working my way through them.

This story is one where Thóra gets involved with a case of a young man with Downs Syndrome who has been held responsible, through not convicted due to his inability to face criminal charges, for the burning down of a residential care facility and the resultant deaths of several people in the blaze. He is being held in a secure unit and one of the other unit residents wants to fund Jakob's retrial and release. Thóra finds herself questioning her decision to become involved with this entirely unpleasant man but her search for the truth leads her to some very strange places in this story. Along the way, there is some great interaction with her awful secretary Bella, who seems to be getting madder by the book, and with Matthew and Thóra's family.

These are absolutely fantastic books; the storyline is utterly enthralling (I read this book in less than 2 days, because I couldn't put it down), the characters are engaging, and the way the author weaves in some slightly eerie and weird circumstances into what appear on the surface to be more cut-and-dried legal cases really ramps up the tension. This is absolutely utterly wholeheartedly recommended, as are all of Yrsa Sigurdardottir's books.
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Ysra is a wonderful and complete story teller. This is part ghost story, really scary at times and part crime mystery where the many layered plot reveal more crimes and incidents.
Following the horrific burning down of a residential care home; parties involved seem to be happy to rush to justice and a young man with Down's syndrome is found guilty of the arson, albeit not criminally liable.
He is sent to a psychiatric unit where another resident befriends him and engages lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir to look into Jacob's case and prove his innocence.
All of Iceland's recent financial woes are cleverly linked in a number of references and through the lives of her characters who are struggling due to the economical downturn.
I liked the the straight forward linear story that paralleled Thora's investigation with the reader's own understanding; the exception is the frightening opening of haunting and paranormal events. This is spine-chilling and places you back reading "I Remember You" with 'all the lights on'. Another positive is that different stories are told outside of Thora's account that add depth to the novel without revealing any real insight to crack the case.
A great read from this accomplished novelist who continues to produce quality thrillers.
One of the few author's around I would like to meet. She has the power to make this grown man, through her writing, very scared; I'd like to normalise that and thank her personally for her profound writing.
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