Hello and welcome to my stop of the Girls Who Lie Random Things Tours blog tour! A huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. I loved the first book of this series The Creak On The Stairs when I read it last year, so of course I couldn’t resist reading the sequel… And it most definitely lived up to expectations! Want to know why? Please join me while I share my thoughts.
Title: Girls Who Lie
(Forbidden Iceland #2)
Author: Eva Björg Ægisdóttir
Translator: Victoria Cribb
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Nordic Noir
First published: October 10th 2019
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: July 3rd 2021
(Originally published in Icelandic: ‘Stelpur Sem Ljúga’)
“It’s unbelievable how, if you’ve had a drink, it negates everything you say. You’re nothing but… a girl who lies.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
Orenda Books is one of the publishers I can always turn to whenever I’m in the mood for some nordic noir, and I’ve been lucky to discover quite a few absolute gems already. My first experience with Eva Björg Ægisdóttir‘s writing last year in The Creak On The Stairs was a complete hit, and I’ve been looking forward to the sequel ever since… And I have to say that Girls Who Lie is possibly even better than the first book. Fantastic setting, fascinating plot, intriguing characters, lots of twists and secrets: oh yes, there is a lot to love in this story.
One of the things I love of the nordic noir genre in general is the setting, and the Icelandic setting in Girls Who Lie without doubt plays a prominent role. The descriptions of the different Icelandic towns were thorough and atmospheric and really set the right tone for this story. You will feel the cold and wind even if you are in the middle of a heatwave, and the story itself will chill you to the bone… The Icelandic setting was once again the perfect backdrop for the police investigation and gave the story that daunting and ominous feel nordic noir fans will love.
The writing is again spot on, and I couldn’t help but keep turning those pages as the story kept me on my toes the whole time. The wonderful translation by Victoria Cribb feels truly flawless and I’m always grateful to translators for enabling us to read stories we wouldn’t have access to otherwise. We definitely would be missing out on fantastic books otherwise! Girls Who Lie is both engaging and suspenseful and the plot will manage to grab you straight away. I liked the structure of the plot, where we have multiple POVs as well as flashbacks to the past and a mystery POV of a little girl growing up. These different storylines/POVs add dept and the more complex structure allows the story to hide things from you, and as a result you will be kept busy with more than one secret and plot twist to unravel while also being entertained along the way.
We learn a bit more about main character Elma and we see some personal growth in her character too, although the main focus is on the body of a woman showing up after being missing for quite some time. The different characters are well developed and feel realistic; they have their flaws and might not seem completely likeable, but they all add something to the plot and have plenty to hide. I had a great time guessing what was really going on and I really liked what the chapters in cursive added to the story. I enjoyed seeing the dynamics of the police team in Akranes as well. Girls Who Lie is without doubt another quite dark story though with difficult topics such as rape, suicide, (child)abuse, mental health and addiction. The different elements are well developed though and are expertly woven into a plot that is both engaging, disturbing and suspenseful.
Girls Who Lie is the second book of a nordic noir series that is quickly turning into a new favorite, and without doubt one I can recommend if you enjoy the genre. This sequel is another dark, ominous and atmospheric read and both Forbidden Iceland books are well worth your time!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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