• The Girl Who Died

  • A Thriller
  • By: Ragnar Jonasson
  • Narrated by: Amanda Redman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Ragnar Jónasson, the award-winning author of the international best-selling Ari Thór series, The Girl Who Died is a stand-alone thriller about a young woman seeking a new start in a secluded village where a small community is desperate to protect its secrets.

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.

But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to just 10 people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space - the site of a local legendary haunting - drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.  

A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books

"Is this the best crime writer in the world today? If you're looking for a mystery to get lost in during lockdown..." (The Times, UK)

"A world-class crime writer...One of the most astonishing plots of modern crime fiction." (
Sunday Times, UK)

"It is nothing less than a landmark in modern crime fiction." (
The Times, UK)

©2021 Ragnar Jonasson (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Girl Who Died

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Mystery and a Ghost Story Rolled Into One

4.5 Stars. A mystery and a ghost story rolled into one.

The story begins when Una, a young aimless and unsettled woman, takes a teaching job on the other side of the country from her hometown of Reykjavik. Skalar is an isolated village with only 10 residents and everyone naturally knows each other. So, Una immediately feels even more isolated. But these feelings transform into inner terror when she "sees" a young girl in the house where she will be living.

The ghost story is mixed with a murder mystery when we learn about the death of two young men, the body of only one that has been recovered.

Una's life -- stuck in the middle of nowhere with no friends close by -- is taut with danger and foreboding.

The narrator Amanda Redman does a nice job. Her voice is clear and she distinguishes the various characters well.

If you like ghost stories, this one is for you. (The mystery doesn't really kick in until near the end so it was a tad disappointing in that regard.) But overall, this was a good read.

3 people found this helpful

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Spooky

Interesting mystery with a paranormal twist. Who is the dead girl? Who is in prison?

3 people found this helpful

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  • SB
  • 05-09-21

Meh

I struggled to get through this one. The narrator sounds like an elderly chain smoker, an ill fit for the relatively young female main character. Thr narrator also sounded bored with the material.

The story was not engaging. There was also a subplot, story within a story, but the narration made it hard to distinguish between the two stories.

The main character goes on a walk in the middle of the night, meets a strange man in a brief encounter, then instantly decides she is in love with him. Right.

3 people found this helpful

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Surprised

The ending was odd to me. somehow did not fit the story
I liked the book a lot, til the end

1 person found this helpful

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Written Beautifully and very Interesting

I enjoyed listening to this book very much for the description of the town made me feel cold in 90 degree weather. the plot was not your typical suspense/ thriller but enjoyable up but not the last 2 chapters. it kept my interest until you read the end and you say what? Was this book a supernatural old fashion ghost story? Who knows.

1 person found this helpful

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One of His Best

My only complaint is that I wish this book was considerably longer…
The characters are all so interesting and the location is truly other worldly and of a kind.
A brilliant mystery narrated beautifully by Amanda Redman (always a delight).
Would love for this book to be part of a series or at least have a sequel.
Phenomenal character development and RJ knows how to truly draw the listener/reader all the way in to his incredible narratives.
This is a wonderful novel in every conceivable way.
Pure perfection.
Easiest 5 stars I’ve given in a very long time.

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Nancy Drew Ghost Nordic Noir

The only reason I listened to the whole book was to find out just how ridiculous it would get. The main character is so freaking dramatic, suspicious, paranoid….and her wine was becoming another character in the book, she fretted so much about it. I’m used to Jo Nesbo, Asa Larsson; this was just not good.

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Spooky and audictive! More, please.

What a wonderfully eerie Icelandic tale! This one jumps to the top of my favorites list. I enjoyed this exciting and intriguing suspenseful offering about a small town with a population of 10; a teacher relocates only to find more questions than answers and curiously strange villagers. Never a dull moment; there are secrets, mysteriously creepy and jaw-dropping moments throughout. Both author Ragnar Jonassan and narrator Amanda Redman do an amazing job and work extremely well together. So worth a treasured credit. However, I was lucky enough to get this for $5 during one of Audible's awesone two-for-one sales. So highly recommended, I want to scream from the rooftops: Epic, epic, epic!

✍🏻👏⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️👏✍🏻

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Hard to follow at times

The way this story was written, it jumps around between 2 stories being told at the same time. It was confusing to me listening to it as an audiobook. I kept thinking I'd missed something in the story. It was a little hard to follow sometimes even without it jumping around between the two stories. What I did follow in the story was interesting.

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Tedious to listen to.

I tried. I really tried to finish this book, but with just a few hours left, I threw in the towel. The repetition of the same ideas over and over (and over) — the protagonist was alone, she didn’t fit in, the village was small and isolated, and more — finally compelled me to call it quits. Over all the hours I did listen, only a few tidbits suggested a significant mystery was hidden there.