Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for ‘Girls Who Lie’ by Eva Björg Ægisdottir. I reviewed this excellent second book in the Forbidden Iceland series back in May and you can read my thoughts here but today, I have an extract to share with you all.
Author : Eva Björg Ægisdottir (trs by Victoria Cribb)
Title : Girls Who Lie
Series : Forbidden Iceland #2
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : May 22, 2021 (paperback)
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
When single mother Marianna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, everyone assumes that she’s taken her own life … until her body is found on the Grabrok 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 a shocking tragedy.
Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the number of suspects grows and new light is shed on Marianna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others.
| EXTRACT |
‘They’ve found an ID,’ Hörður told them when they reached the cave. The man from forensics handed over a clear plastic bag containing an ID card that had obviously got wet in the damp cave. Although the black print had faded, the name was still visible: Maríanna Þórsdóttir.
‘How long is it since she went missing?’ he asked.
‘She vanished at the beginning of May,’ Hörður replied. ‘That makes it more than seven months.’
‘Well, it looks to me as if the body’s pretty well preserved, all things considered,’ the man said. ‘Especially where it’s protected by the clothes. Everything, that’s to say, except the head and hands. Though there are still some patches of soft tissue on the skull – on the back of the head and neck, for example. We’ve had a look at them and we’re fairly sure there’s a fracture in the skull, so it’s probably best to call out the pathologist. There’ll be a postmortem, I assume?’
‘Yes, of course,’ Hörður said. ‘Could the fractured skull have been caused by a fall?’
The man grimaced a little. ‘Unlikely. You’ve seen the way the cave is angled. You have to crawl to get to where the body’s lying. If you ask me, the blow was caused by something else.’
Hörður thought for a moment. ‘Yes, right,’ he said. ‘We’ll call out the pathologist.’
Elma saw that Sævar was having difficulty swallowing his disappointment. Waiting for the pathologist to drive up from Reykjavík would mean hanging around for at least another two hours in this bitter cold.
Darkness arrived from the east, reaching out with terrifying swiftness across the sky towards the setting sun. They had watched the forensics team at work all day. By the time the pathologist arrived, dusk was already falling. But, in the event, he required less than an hour to assess the situation and take a few samples before the body could be transported to Reykjavík, where the post-mortem would take place the following day.
Both pathologist and forensics team were in agreement that the injuries to Maríanna’s skull could not have resulted from a fall. Moreover, there was a large, dark patch on the front of her shirt, which might well have been blood. The body was so badly decomposed that it was hard to be certain, but there were various indications that her death was suspicious. Nevertheless, it struck them as odd that Maríanna’s remains hadn’t been put in a bin bag or covered with a blanket. Or at least hidden with a pile of rocks. The person who had dumped her there had simply trusted that no one would find her.
Top-notch Icelandic noir right here, people! So do yourselves a favour and put this on your shelf asap! The ebook is available to buy and the paperback will be published on July 22nd.
| 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.