Girls Who Lie
By Eva Björg ÆgisDóttir
Published by Orenda Books
What it’s about?
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…
What I think;
This is such a gripping and twisty story. I spent most of the book thinking one things to have the rug pulled from right under me to wards the end of the novel. Nothing was as I expected it.
Marianna’s life seems so unhappy. pregnant at 15 and with no support from her family, her daughter has been in and out of foster care since she was three years old. When Marianna disappears the natural assumption is that she has taken her own life and that her daughter, who can now move in permanently with her support family, may actually be better off.
When her body is found and it is clear she has been murdered, Elma and the detectives investigating are becoming increasingly frustrated. While the list of potential suspects becomes longer with each person they interview, they are unable to shed any light on who may have had a motive to murder an unremarkable woman who generally lives a quiet life.
It’s so hard to talk about this book without giving spoilers! It is so cleverly structured that while all the clues to help the reader solve the case are there, they are so well hidden and the twists are impressive. The voices in the novels are so clear and poignant – you just don’t necessarily know who is speaking.
This is the second book featuring Elma who is a fantastic main character. She is an interesting and empathetic and her relationships with her family and colleagues continue to grow since she has re-established herself in Akranes. The Icelandic landscape is such a fantastic backdrop adding to the sense of foreboding. This book is translated into English and the translator has done a fabulous job of retaining the atmosphere.
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
Thank you to Orenda for gifting me a digital copy of Girl Who Lie and to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. I have really enjoyed both books in this series and will be eagerly awaiting the third.