Apparently trying to be more organised has resulted in more disorganisation on my part, so here is the post that was supposed to go out yesterday. Either way it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb.About the Author
Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study my MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving back home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on her novel. Eva has wanted to write books since she was 15 years old, having won a short story contest in Iceland.
Eva worked as a stewardess to make ends meet while she wrote her first novel. The book went on to win the Blackbird Award and became an Icelandic bestseller. Eva now lives with her husband and three children in Reykjavík, staying at home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.
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About the book
The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents.
When the 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 colleagues 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.
Elma has returned home to Akranes, because of a failed long-term relationship. Back to her parents, her friends and the quiet rural town of her childhood. When the body of a woman is discovered near a local lighthouse the investigation into her death begins to uncover some uncomfortable truths about the men and women she has known her entire life.
The investigation is impeded by her colleagues Sævar and Hörður, one of whom has other things on his mind and the other is determined to undermine the case by protecting certain bigwigs in town. Do they have something to hide?
Meanwhile Elma follows the path and story of the victim all the way back to her childhood. A childhood that appears to be filled with darkness, fear and pain. One that all the adults around her chose to ignore instead of helping her.
It’s a riveting crime read – a story of damaged souls and secrets buried so deep not everyone wants them uncovered.
Although it’s certainly an ending that is controversial in its own way it’s also one that is based in reality and very much one of our time. The futility and frustration is balanced out by complacency and an intrinsic need for certain truths to remain hidden. What matters the truth when the victims can no longer speak for themselves or reputations may be sullied? What matters justice when the deed has been buried in decades of lies, misdirection and denial?
It’s a driven and captivating read, not only due to the excellent plotting, but also because the author doesn’t present readers with a character or victim to root for per se. Instead it’s a case of perfect imperfections, which of course is the reality of life. We are all flawed in some way – some more than others. The question in this piece is whether those flaws excuse the deed or does the deed cause the flaw, and in doing so set a series of tragic events in motion?
This is the first in the Forbidden Iceland series and can’t wait to read the next in the series. Elma is more of a ‘I can feel it in my gut – and fly by the seat of her pants gal’ which makes for an interesting sleuth, especially when combined with the atmospheric feel of this Icelandic Noir.
Buy The Creak on the Stairs at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 14 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Orendabooks.co.uk