Lead Review

  • Book: Girls Who Lie
  • Location: Iceland
  • Author: Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

Review Author: Tina Hartas



Eva Björg Ægisdóttir is a name to watch when it comes to Icelandic Noir. She has a very confident writing style and her storytelling abilities keep the reader firmly hooked in as she moves through the story. I very much enjoyed the first in the series The Creak on the Stairs which was set in Akranes, where Elma, the central detective, is based.

The body of a woman is found in the lava field by Grábrók. She is thought to be Marianna, a woman who had simply disappeared, leaving daughter Hekla behind. Theirs had been a tricky relationship and social services had semi fostered her out to another couple. As Elma and her team piece together her final weeks and days, they are clear that this was not a simple disappearance. Running alongside is another mystery, which serves to add a further layer of interest to the narrative.

This is not solely a novel about police detection but it also explores Elma’s family life – and in particular her relationship with her sister – giving her a real human side. There is also a well turned psychological dimension to characters’ actions which always adds a really strong angle to the narrative. People behave in ways that might seem errant and evil but, given understanding of past experience, their patterns of interaction feel very plausible.

This is a richly worked and well paced mystery that offers both a well plotted storyline and a truly evocative setting. It is so well thought out.

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