Book Review: The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Dolls can be cute and innocent. But not this one. You better be careful it doesn’t come into your possession.


They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.


I was really intrigued to discover just exactly what this doll could do. The blurb of The Doll gives a sense of horror to this story but it is certainly a police drama through and through. Police dramas can be a bit touch and go for me. This one met the mark but there are a few things I would change. For one, I would have made this book a little shorter. Somewhere around the middle things began to lag a bit and I found myself skimming. That leads me into the next point, which is detail.

For the most part, I loved the detail in this post. While the doll didn’t bring the creepiness I expected, the vivid descriptions of Iceland sure set the tone the book needed. The excess of detail lay sometimes in the police investigation, and I think some of that could have been left out.

The highlight of The Doll, for me, was the ending. At the start of the book there is three different storylines going on. By the end, the are all woven together to make a satisfying conclusion. The author left no loose ends.

The Doll is a great read for fans of police drama. However, I would recommend starting at the beginning of this series. I think I would have enjoyed it more with the backstory of the long-term characters.

You can pick up a copy of The Doll here.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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