Translated by Victoria Cribb
Blog Tour stop for this Emotional, Thrilling, Complex and Original debut
"The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series "
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
Orenda Book consistantly brings me the best in Islandic Noir and translated books and this thrilling debut lives up to their high standards.
Here we meet Elma's just at the end of her last relationship and she has decided a fresh start is in order so she returns to her home town of Akranes.
Starting again is hard and even more so in a city that you are more used to from years ago, Everyone knows everyone and keeping a low profile was never going to happen no matter how much Elma wishes it.
Elma is happy to land a job in the Akranes police force through she belives the new CID will never be as busy or as ultimatley intresting as been in the capital city of Reykjavík, but WOW is she wrong, when a body is found in the water by the lighthouse, a mystery insues and before she knows it the investigation takes off and Elma not only has to solve the case but deal with her own feelings and memories from the past.
I found this read both thrilling and intriguing our main charater is never one to give to much information about herself. Lots of things that are hinted at develop more as the read continues.
The translation was so very well done, I still really felt the authors style. The characters were as intriging as the case and just as complex , everyone had secrets and as the dark twists played out I was absorbed in them finding the answers they all needed.
This read is not for the faint heart it has very emotional elements in a lot disturbing events, abuse and neglect but these issues were so well written not for drama or flare but as important plot points and character developement for which the concequences for those character were felt throughout the read.
Emotional, Thrilling, Complex and Original this is a fantasic debut and I very much hope more of this authors work will be translated for us bookish folk in the UK to enjoy.
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.
Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016.
In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers.
Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.
Thank you to the Publisher and Author for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this novel and for the opportunity to review these works.
All reviews are my own unbiased opinion.