I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for superb Icelandic thriller Red As Blood (An Arora Investigation 2) by Lilja Sigurðardóttir. Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this outstanding book.
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 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…
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 for Best Nordic Crime Novel. 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.
Red As Blood has been translated into English by Quentin Bates.
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.
Red As Blood is the second tense and gripping book in critically acclaimed Icelandic crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s brilliant Áróra Investigation series. Skilfully translated by Quentin Bates, it is a chilling and highly addictive thriller that keeps you guessing throughout. Investigator Áróra, who was first introduced in Cold As Hell, is still working alongside her detective friend Daniel, this time trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious kidnapping of Gudrun, wife of wealthy entrepreneur Flosi.
In a fast paced, complex storyline that brings the cold and remote Icelandic landscape vividly to life, Red As Blood is a tale filled with intrigue and suspense, weaving together a plot that not only includes the hunt for Flosi’s kidnapped wife Gudrun, but also continues the devastating search for Ísafold, Áróra‘s sister who is still missing without a trace.
As revealed in Cold As Hell, Áróra and Ísafold were like chalk and cheese, sisters by blood but who were no longer on speaking terms. So when their mother lost contact with Ísafold, Áróra reluctantly returned to Iceland to look for her. But on her arrival she quickly learned that Ísafold wasn’t just ignoring their calls, she had gone missing. And so, with the help of policeman Daniel, Áróra set out to find her missing sister. But it soon became apparent that there was more to Ísafold‘s disappearance than at first met the eye. And now, as the fog descends on a cold and rainy Iceland, the investigation is starting to become more and more dangerous…
With short, punchy chapters and a fast paced, suspense filled storyline, this is a book I did not want to put down. As the strands of the story begin to come together, the tension builds up to almost breaking point as we move forward towards an exhilarating finale that left me feeling breathless and eager for more.
Red As Blood is a beautifully written, atmospheric novel that draws the reader in from the very first page. There’s an underlying sense of unease throughout that, along with the chilling Icelandic setting, leaves you feeling strangely unsettled as you get deeper into the mystery at the heart of the story. With a strong and varied cast of characters and a protagonist I’m falling more and more in love with as the series progresses, Lilja Sigurðardóttir has written an unnerving, deeply intelligent thriller that is Icelandic Noir at its very best.
Although it is possible to read Red As Blood as a standalone, I would recommend reading Cold As Hell first which, in my honest opinion, would make for a much richer and far more rewarding reading experience.
I loved getting to know even more about Áróra in this second book and can’t wait to see where the story takes her from here. If the first two books in the series are anything to go by we’re in for a real treat! Lilja Sigurðardóttir has written yet another stylish, complex and superbly plotted crime thriller that I would highly recommend.
Red As Blood by Lilja Sigurðardóttir is available to purchase now: