With rights sold in 14 countries, Cold as Hell is the first in the riveting, atmospheric and beautifully plotted five-book series An Áróra Investigation, from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.
Estranged sisters Áróra and Ísafold live in different countries, and are not on speaking terms. When their mother loses contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returns to Iceland to look for her. But she soon realizes that her sister isn’t avoiding her … she has disappeared, without a trace.
As she confronts Ísafold’s abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend Björn, and begins to probe her sister ’s reclusive neighbours – who have their own reasons for staying out of sight – Áróra is drawn into an ever-darker web of intrigue and manipulation.
Baffled by the conflicting details of her sister ’s life, and blinded by the shiveringly bright midnight sun of the Icelandic summer, Áróra enlists the help of police officer Daníel, to help her track her sister ’s movements, and tail Björn. But she isn’t the only one watching.
A new series, a new character to meet, a leap into the unknown but in the safe and capable hands of Sigurdardotti.
We were taken back to Iceland, a summer where darkness never truly arrived but Arora, duty bound, touched down to search for her missing sister, Isaford.
And what of Arora? Definitely feisty, confident in her looks, her obvious draw to the men around her, intelligent, and above all determined. She wasn’t without a softer side, guilt that she had abandoned her wayward sister, a duty to give their mother the answers she needed.
Police help is always invaluable and Daniel fitted that bill even if he was on holiday. I loved the electricity, the mutual attraction between Daniel and Arora Sigurdardottir injected, that perfect will they won’t they scenario that detracted from the investigation and I cannot wait to see how that will develop in the future.
The investigation itself was stacked full of potential leads, characters who could have been involved in Isafold’s disappearance. Bjorn, the boyfriend, drug dealer, abuser, definitely someone I did not like but for me not the prime suspect.
That was Isafold’s neighbour, Grimer, a man that Sigurdardottir packed full of mental health issues, a lurid past merely hinted at, and an ability to lurk amongst the shadows. I liked the deliberate way in which the author used him, gave him knowledge that no other character had, yet she shared it with the reader, but I still couldn’t decide if he was the guilty party or a mere red herring planted by Sigurdardottir.
I wasn’t sure how Sigurdardottir would chose to conclude the investigation and it was definitely not what I expected but I guess that was the point, to leave us and Arora in limbo, to have Arora decide that maybe Iceland with its potential job opportunities and new relationships could once again be home for a while.
I am hoping we will not be left in limbo for long as I cannot wait to revisit Iceland and discover in what direction and developments await Arora.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of Cold As Hell to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, her English debut shortlisting for the CWA International Dagger and hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap soon followed suit, with the third in the trilogy Cage winning the Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year, and was a Guardian Book of the Year. Lilja’s standalone Betrayal, was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award forBest Nordic Crime Novel. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures
in California. Lilja is also an award-winning screenwriter in her native Iceland.
She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.