Book Review: The Girl Who Died

THE GIRL WHO DIED | Ragnar Jónasson
05.04.2021 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World

Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track. As darkness descends on this isolated land, Una starts to feel overwhelmed by the secrets of the dozen people she calls her new community. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. A tragic death echoing the past brings the villagers to become even more guarded, leaving suspicious Una to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.

I absolutely love Ragnar’s series reads and have devoured almost everything that he has published (I swear I’m reading THE MIST soon), so I was thrilled when I saw that he had a stand alone novel hitting shelves. Ragnar has an amazing knack for creating some of the most atmospheric books I have ever read. I always feel transported to the location his stories are set in and with THE GIRL WHO DIED a great claustrophobic element was added on top to escalate the  intensity of this story. 

THE GIRL WHO DIED is set at a slower, methodical pace that delicately unpacks the hidden secrets of Skálar in both past and present. Sprinkled throughout the story are hints at a history, but it isn’t until the end where all the pieces to the puzzle finally click together thanks to Una’s determination in finding answers. This is a great story to truly immerse yourself in and will have you guessing throughout!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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