blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Red as Blood – Lilja Sigurđardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates

When entrepreneur Flosi arrives home for dinner one night, he discovers that his house has been ransacked, and his wife Gudrun missing. A letter on the kitchen table confirms that she has been kidnapped. If Flosi doesn’t agree to pay an enormous ransom, Gudrun will be killed. Forbidden from contracting the police, he gets in touch with Áróra, who specialises in finding hidden assets, and she, alongside her detective friend Daniel, try to get to the bottom of the case without anyone catching on.

Meanwhile, Áróra and Daniel continue the puzzling, devastating search for Áróra’s sister Ísafold, who disappeared without trace. As fog descends, in a cold and rainy Icelandic autumn, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and confusing.

Chilling, twisty and unbearably tense, Red as Blood is the second instalment in the riveting, addictive An Áróra Investigation series, and everything is at stake…

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An awardwinning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series and Lilja’s 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 for Best Nordic Crime Novel. In 2021, Cold as Hell, the first in the An Áróra Investigation series was published, with Red as Blood to follow in 2022. 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.

My thoughts: this was very good, much like my favourite Russian dolls, this was plot within plot. The kidnapping, Flosi’s dodgy financial arrangements, the family’s complex relationships, all neatly stacked inside one another as Daniel and Áróra dig into Flosi and Gudrun’s lives and business, more things start coming to light and it gets scary.

And then there’s Daniel and Áróra and their tangled personal relationship. He wants her but she wants him to find her sister more. Throw in an extravagant drag queen who believes in the little folk, Helena’s system and you have a complicated, messy world that this case makes more so by throwing people together in new and not entirely happy ways.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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