Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir #bookreview #blogtour @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new crime novel by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Girls Who Lie. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

BLURB

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?
 
Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to a shocking tragedy.
 
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

MY THOUGHTS

Girls Who Lie is an intriguing addition to the Forbidden Iceland series by Eva Björg Ægisdottir, which is turning into a fantastic new crime series. The atmospheric setting draws you in, and the clever, compelling storyline kept me hooked. It makes for a completely gripping, sinister and shocking read.

I thought the first book in the series, The Creak on the Stairs, was very creepy. I thought it set the tone for the series very well, which Eva Björg Ægisdottir carries through perfectly into the second book.

The author really does draw on the setting in this book, especially when the body of a missing woman, Mari´anna, is found on a lava field. This is one of the most original locations for hiding a body I’ve come across in crime fiction. It adds to the layer of intrigue surrounding the woman’s disappearance and who could be behind it. Now, Detective Elma and her team have to find out what happened to Mari´anna seven months earlier. But they have lost valuable time. Will they be able to find out who was behind it?

Some of the most intriguing scenes in this book are when Eva Björg Ægisdottir takes us back in time to fifteen years ago when a young mother gives birth to her daughter. I wanted to understand why she didn’t feel anything for her child, and this made her character all the more fascinating. As Eva continues to visit this time, we begin to see this character grow. I wanted to know how what was happening in the past fed into what had happened in the present. Was the discovery of the missing woman’s body and these scenes somehow connected?

Eva brings Elma’s character to life, and I liked the wit in her conversations with her colleague, Saver. The dialogue between them makes them feel like real people. The relationships that the characters have with each other are also what makes this story really compelling. I’m sure I’ll keep coming back to this series, excited to see what Eva Björg Ægisdottir has in store for us next.

If you love crime novels with a strong, fascinating setting that makes you feel as though you’re there, then I highly recommend Girls Who Lie. This book will reel you in from the very first page and keep you invested in the plot and the characters. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 22nd May 2021 (kindle) 22nd July 2021 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

Girls Who Lie is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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Girls Who Lie BT Poster

The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttirv #bookreview blog tour @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Creak on the Stairs by [Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, Victoria Cribb]

BLURB

When a body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day …

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

MY THOUGHTS

There is already one series set in Iceland published by Orenda Books which I’ve really enjoyed, and I can definitely say that I have found another that I’m sure I’ll keep coming back to. It has been translated really well, and I was drawn into the story without any effort. I pretty much devoured the first one hundred pages in one sitting and the mystery at the heart of the story was cleverly constructed.

The Creak on the Stairs is the first book to feature Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has just returned to her hometown, Akranes, in Iceland. Right from the first page, there is a really creepy atmosphere to this book which is also helped by the rich landscape which pulls you into the setting. I’ve never thought about visiting Iceland before, but after visiting the country in fiction on more than one occasion, I am certainly keen to visit at some point in the future.

Not long after Elma’s return the body of a woman, Elisabet, is found in a lighthouse. The author, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir delves into this woman’s past as the novel progresses, and we discover the tragic life she has lived. But what prompted someone to want to kill her? Could it be possible that she was harbouring a dangerous secret which is why someone had to shut her up? I became more than invested in Elisabet’s life as the author revealed more about her backstory and what eventually drew her to her fate at the lighthouse.

This is a complicated story, and Elma must peel back the layers of Elisabet’s past to get to the truth. There are also some very tough topics explored when we begin to understand what happened. The author explores these well without being over gratuitous, and they make up an integral part of the plot. There is a lot of psychological depth to this novel which pulls you further into the character’s lives as you begin to see what they have gone through.

Elma is a character who I liked straight away. You can see that she is struggling to come to terms with living on her own after recently coming out of a relationship. She is keen to strike up friendships with her new colleagues and is perhaps eager to start another relationship, but I think she should wait a little while before embarking on this route. I also liked the relationship that she has with her mother and I liked the wit in their relationship, particularly when her mother is commenting on her furniture in Elma’s new apartment. I definitely think that she is a character who many readers will want to return to and I can’t wait to catch up with her again. I am wondering how her friendship with one particular character, Saevar, will develop in the future. They make a great team.

As we get to know more about Elisabet and her dark past, the tension begins to build as Elma races to find the person responsible for her death. I think as the reader begins to realise what has happened, it will call them to consider what they would do if they were faced with a similar situation.

The Creak on the Stairs will keep you utterly gripped from the first page. This is a dark, atmospheric story, and I can’t wait to read more from this series, and I hope there is going to be more.

Publisher: Orenda

Publication date: 14th March 2020

Print length: 276 pages

The Creak on the Stairs is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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FINAL Creak on Stairs BT Poster