Red as Blood by Lilja Sigurdardóttir trns by Quentin Bates

Today we hand over to Mandie who is sharing her thought on books two in the Áróra Investigation series by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, Red As Blood. I reviewed the book as part of the blog tour last year and you can read my thoughts right here. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 13 October 2022
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

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 contacting 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…

Mandie’s Thoughts

Red as Blood is the second book in the Áróra Investigationseries. Áróra is still looking for her missing sister but thanks to her friend Michael she finds herself involved in the search of the missing wife of one of his clients. Knowing that she can’t do this alone she turns to local cop and friend Daniel Hansson who she met during the search for her sister. 

The book starts with Áróra out in the lava fields still searching for her sister but quickly moves to the main action of the storyand the reader is taken on quite the ride. Guðrún Aronsdóttirhas been kidnapped and her husband Flosi has been given a ransom demand that will take some sorting out. He has the money but Áróra will have to transport it from England back to Iceland. The question is who knows that Flosi has that kind of money as to look at his day-to-day business it is not evident that he does. He seems very secretive about everything, and his daughter and ex wife seem all too keen to be there for him. Whilst I can understand his reluctance to get the police involved there is definitely something not to be trusted about him and exactly where all his money comes from. 

Both Áróra and Daniel are characters that are growing on me,and you can see both the attraction and tension between them in every interaction. Áróra is determined to get to the bottom of whatever she has been involved in and this at times can put her in danger especially when she underestimates the people she is getting mixed up with. We also get to learn more about Daniel and what makes him the person he is as a lot of the investigative action is from his perspective. 

There are so many elements to this book that I found myself flying through it as I got more and more involved and intrigued by the story with all its secrets and lies with the pacing helped along by the short chapters. 

As ever Lilja Sigurðardóttir has given us characters with depth and full of the complexities of human nature that draw you in no matter if they are victim or suspect and gives the reader the feeling that they have been transported to Iceland and its beautiful landscape. This can easily be read as a standalone but I for one would recommend you start with Cold as Hell and then like me you can follow Áróra to see where her job and personal life take her next.

About the Author

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir 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, 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.

About the Transaltor

Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family, before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism, largely by accident. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, Cold Comfort and Thin Ice) which have been published worldwide. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series

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