I’m not usually a fan of Nordic fiction. However, if something piques my interest, I’ll give it a go. I’m glad I did with this one.
Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir
When single mother Maríanna 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 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 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 Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…
Like I mentioned, I usually don’t get along with Nordic literature. I’m not sure if the style just isn’t for me or the translation of the books I read didn’t do them justice. Normally I avoid it but there was something about the plot line of Girls Who Lie that caught me – and provided a great read.
I guess the crowning element of Girls Who Lie was the story itself. It wasn’t filled with crazy twists and turns but yet the final outcome kept me guessing. The story is told alternating between a third-person account of the investigation itself and a first-person narrative told by an identified character. The latter narrative was the most intriguing, in my opinion, and the one that kept me guessing, while also releasing snippets of information. However, I did also enjoy the chapters focused on the investigation. I sometimes find police procedurals too detail oriented and with too little focus on the human element of the story, but Girls Who Lie had a great balance.
This is the second book in a series but most certainly one that can be read as a stand-alone. Usually in this case I feel that I’m missing vital information about the recurring characters. The author did a great job of helping you get to know them.
Oh and I can’t not mention the beautiful depictions of Iceland. I really hope I get to go there some day!
Girls Who Lie can be purchased here.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.