The Creak on the Stairs By Eva Björg Ægisdóttir
‘The Creak on the Stairs’ is the latest book by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir in the ‘Forbidden Iceland’ series.
When a 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 collegues 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.
This is the first Icelandic story that I’ve read and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this atmospheric Nordic noir.
The story is mostly seen through the eyes of Detective Elma who’s returned to the town of Akranes after leaving the bright lights of Reykjavík after her relationship broke up.
Heartbroken, she throws herself into her work, expecting nothing exciting to happen in the sleepy town until the body of a woman is found on the beach and it’s up to Elma and her team to piece together how the woman called Elisabet came to be murdered.
As Elma investigates the case, she finds herself revisiting old neighbourhoods and friends whilst old memories reappear of the her childhood. But as she delves into Elisabet’s past, she finds a much sadder and sinister time for the woman.
The story is seen from multiple perspectives and this makes for interesting and intriguing reading as you wonder what role they have to play in the story. From Elisabet’s childhood friend called Magnea who’s obviously hiding something to her father in law, a successful estate called Hendrick. There’s also a narrative from a younger Elisabet which makes for sad reading as she’s the only child to a mother who neglects her and she’s exposed to abuse.
This story is translated beautifully and inclusion of the correct way to pronounce words and names were helpful whilst reading the book. The story also included local folklores which I found equally interesting.
Elma is a great protagonist, she’s relatable in her heartbreak and her insight and observation to those around her made for great reading.
‘The Creak on the Stairs’ is the first book in a new series and certainly sets a high standard of what’s next to come. With a clever plot line, engaging dialogue as well the vibrant descriptions of the landscape and the town, this book has it all. Beautifully written and chilling to the core, this Nordic noir is a must for all fans of the genre.
You can buy ‘The Creak on the Stairs’ from Amazon.