It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Cold As Hell by by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates.
‘With rights sold in 14 countries, Cold as Hell is the first in the riveting, atmospheric and beautifully plotted five-book series. An Áróra Investigation, from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.’
About the Author
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, her English debut shortlisting for the CWA International Dagger and hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap soon followed suit, with the third in the trilogy Cage winning the Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year, and was a Guardian Book of the Year.
Lilja’s standalone Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja is also an award-winning screenwriter in her native Iceland. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
About the book
Estranged sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries, and are not on speaking terms. When their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to look for her. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without a trace.
As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is drawn into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation.
Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, to help her track her sister’s movements, and tail Björn. But she isn’t the only one watching…
Historically Áróra and Ísafold have had a bit of a bumpy ride as sisters. They have become disconnected from each other, and yet old loyalties and the need to protect is never far from the surface. When Ísafold disappears Áróra feels she owes it to her big sister to help, despite the fact she has ignored her attempts in the past, and has repeatedly returned to a bad personal situation.
This book is the first in a new series, and it looks like it’s going to be a humdinger of a popular one. Whether intentionally or not the author has given this book a different style – it’s still Scandi noir, but it’s darker. There is an almost staccato like approach to the chapters and characters, and the main characters swim silently between black and white in the greyish areas of conscience and guilt.
Adding the almost anonymous quality of the perpetrator gives readers the sense of this could be me or you, which is also exactly what happens with the ethical aspect of the crime in this story. If you weigh the scales of punishment and justice – what would you do?
I think this is Sigurðardóttir’s best work so far. She’s risen above the expectations of the genre and given it what I believe to be her individual style writing voice, and I think it’s just the beginning. I am looking forward to where this series is going to take us.