Today I am delighted to host the Random Things blog tour for The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Björg AEgisdóttir -translated by Victoria Cribb.
The first in the electrifying new Forbidden Icleand 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 teh 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.
Lovely people at Orenda – WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME? Once again you have discovered an author who has written a debut novel with such incredible storytelling skill that I was completely enthralled throughout. What an incredible team of people you all are – author, publisher and translator working together to bring us yet another exemplary piece of Icelandic Noir.
Of course it all begins with Eva’s brilliant ability to create a story that will capture you from the very first page…from the very first creak on the stairs. There is fear in this novel and you experience a sense of watching something awful unfolding. It prys deep inside it’s characters, teasing out the shadows and darkness that lingers inside along with the pain and suffering. It also makes us question does evil create evil? Or perhaps only a numbness of all feeling is left behind when we experience such trauma.
CIO Elma is returning to her hometown after working for Reykjavík CID. Recovering from a personal trauma that has left her broken and grieving for a failed relationship, she begins to rebuild her life working for Akranes’ small police force. Akranes is very different from Reykjavík and she’s expecting a slower pace of life. Then the body of a woman is discovered out by an old lighthouse and so begins an investigation that will leave this small town reeling. The crimes of the past come back to haunt some of the residents and old ghosts refuse to stay silent forever.
Throughout the novel we are given flashbacks to past crimes that have left their mark on all those involved, causing a stain that will never be removed. These horrendous acts have forever changed their lives but there is one person who feels that the past must be acknowleged, that past sins must be revealed. However these revelations would shatter lives and just how far would someone go to keep the past in the past?
The Creak On The Stairs is a brilliantly constructed thriller that twists and turns through to the end. A difficult subject matter is handled delicately and it never felt gratuitous. Much is endured by the characters and the story brings an interesting view of nuture or nature and how certain events endured for a long time can affect behaviour and character.
Along with a gripping storyline, Eva has brought Iceland to life and I felt every chill, every bitter wind and also saw every stunning viewscape. It is brillant escapism and highlights how books can transport us anywhere. The end has left me longing for more and so I am absolutely thrilled that this is the beginning of a brand new series, I very much look forward to returning (soon please!) to Akranes. I have a suspicion that there is a lot more to come from these characters.
The Creak On The Stairs is available now in ebook and will be published in paperback on May 28th. Order it via your local indepentent bookshop or you can find other suppliers via the Orenda Books website.
Many thanks to the wonderful Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the lovely people at Orenda Books for sending me an ARC. Another absoluetly cracking read 🙂 This blog tour continues through May so do keep a look out for more reviews.
About the Author
Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva moved to Trondheim, Norway to study for her MSc in Globalisation when she was 25. After moving bcak home having completed her MSc, she knew it was time to start working on hre 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 home with her youngest until she begins Kindergarten.
About The Publisher
Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four ’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.