At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in Icelandic literature
When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed 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 tragedy.
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…
Fresh, richly atmospheric, and with quietly compelling and sophisticated writing reminiscent of Ruth Rendell, Girls Who Lie was an Icelandic #1 bestseller. It further establishes Eva Björg Ægisdóttir as one of the most exciting young crime writers in Iceland.
Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir studied for an MSc in Globalisation in Norway before returning to Iceland and deciding to write a novel – something she had wanted to do since she won a short-story competition at the age of fifteen. After nine months combining her writing with work as a stewardess and caring for her children, Eva finished The Creak on the Stairs. It was published in 2018, and became a bestseller in Iceland. It also went on to win the Blackbird Award, a prize set up by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson to encourage new Icelandic crime writers. It was published in English by Orenda Books in 2020. Eva lives in Reykjavík with her husband and three children and is currently working on the third book in the Forbidden Iceland series. Follow her on @evaaegisdottir
What an absolutely cracking read this is!
You hear so many different places for crime scenes, but a lava field? Now that’s original!
Yet again, Eva Bjorg Ægisdottir blows it straight out of the park, with this twisted tale, that even stings right at the very end. I loved how it shows the character of Elma developing and her own relationships, family and personal. I couldn’t put this down and it’s even more brilliant Icelandic Noir. We have a Queen of Icelandic Noir as well as a King I think!!
I can’t wait to read the next book featuring Elma. Thanks for the advanced reading copy of this book to AnneCater, Orenda Books and the author.