The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Iceland series, The Creak on the Stairs is an exquisitely written, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric debut thriller by one of Iceland’s most exciting new talents 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.
I do like the promise of a new crime series, the opportunity to meet new characters, a new landscape and the authors own interpretation on the crime novel. Iceland provided the backdrop, the small claustrophobic town of Akranes the location and recently returned local, Elma our Chief Investigative Officer.
Clearly recovering from the after effects of a failed relationship, AEgisdottir gave us glimpses into her past, as she slowly made the introductions. There was nothing astonishing or jaw dropping about Elma, but it didn’t need to be, she was presented as just a normal humble person, drawn back to the comfort of her home and family to recover and rebuild. And that was the thing I liked about AEgisdottir’s narrative, it wasn’t flashy, all guns blazing, it was understated, compact and measured. I loved the descriptive nature that gave us a feel and sense of the town, the characters that all seemed normal, but hid secrets, Elma’s steady but thorough investigations that probed quietly but effectively.
Sounds too quiet, not enough action? Definitely not, to me that wasn’t the authors point. Instead it showed her considerable skill in laying foundations, building a plot and story, the layers never ending as we moved from past to present. There were subtle hints as to trauma suffered that led to tragic events and consequences that rippled through the years before exploding into the present.
There was no obtuse violence just actions that resonated, and at time’s shocked as Elma dug deeper. It gave us a glimpse into her own childhood and a tentative personal connection to the murder, that gave her that impetuous to go against her boss, to ruffle feathers, and reputations in pursuit of the truth.
The truth itself was shocking, the murderer a surprise, but it was also tinged with sadness that life’s could have been so effected by the actions of one person and set of a chain of tragic events.
As for Elma, we learnt just enough to want to know more, to go with her on her quest to rebuild her life but also experience more of her investigative skills.
On that note I would only say, that I hope AEgisdottir is tapping away at her keyboard to bring us another glorious novel.
I would like to thank OrendaBooks for a copy of The Creak On The Stairs to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
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.