book reviews · Bookish

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurðardóttir (Review)

Good afternoon everyone! Had some technical gremlins so it’s later in the day than I would have liked with this one – I ended up having to re-write it! But I am pleased to be bringing you a review of Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, translated from Icelandic by Quentin Bates as part of another wonderful Orenda blog tour. Please be sure to check out the other awesome stops on the tour!

I received a copy of Betrayal for free for review purposes.

Betrayal is a standalone work of Icelandic Noir about corruption in politics as Úrsula, the newly promoted minister and former aid worker ends up unknowingly drawn in to a plot to benefit everyone aside from herself.

As soon as Úrsula is in office, she knows what she wants to get done in her year tenure at the ministry. Right off the bat, she makes a promise to a mother who is on tenterhooks about the progress of her daughters rape case, having no idea that there was far more to it than a police officer being the culprit as some of her colleagues attempt to hinder her at every juncture. She finds an unlikely acquaintance in Stella, whom shows Úrsula a place where she can smoke in private. A cleaner whom usually goes ignored.

I really liked the characters in Betrayal. Úrsula was so passionate and believable but also very human. Her driver, Gunnar who was very serious and clearly had far more to him than meets the eye – I’d have liked to have learned more about why he is the way he is. Stella. Rough around the edges. An alright sort whose done some bad things whom I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards.

Betrayal is well paced with short, punchy chapters that flip between the perspective of numerous characters as Úrsula works at the ministry to the best of her ability while receiving threats and tackling obstacles that are deliberately placed to hinder her. I felt really bad for Úrsula as it seemed she would not have an easy run. Often the point was made about having a woman as a minister and the portrayal of her in the media. It felt very believable. All in all, I really enjoyed Betrayal and following Úrsula on what turned out to be a very chaotic and short tenure as minister. I found it to be a compelling read.

About the Book

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.

But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined. A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And why has the death of her father in police custody so many years earlier reared its head again?

As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witch-like cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Black Moss by David Nolan (Review)

I’m pleased to be kicking off the tour for David Nolan’s novel, Black Moss! Available now in both Paperback and Kindle formats, published by Fahrenheit Press and available now. Be sure to check out the other tour stops to find out more.

Black Moss is a story about “Danny Something” and his journey to discover the truth about a poor boy, murdered and left on the county border, only for nobody to really even care because the fame was elsewhere – the riot at Strangeways.
The story switches between 1990 and 2016, from the perspective of Danny, determined to get to the bottom of the child’s murder whilst working with a local officer named John and his daughter, Kate and then revisiting it again a quarter of a century later; where alcoholism takes it’s toll and his life becomes a literal car crash.

Gritty and gripping, I absolutely loved this book. The entire thing felt authentic. I have never been to Manchester, but I feel like the book was very immersive in that respect. The way the characters are written is fantastic, so much depth. They were affected by the things that occurred and I found them to be very convincing. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Danny and a police officer named John who seemed to be the only other person invested in the case. The way Nolan touches upon such substantial incidents such as murder, alcoholism and children in the care system were so well written, I’d never have guessed this was his debut novel and could have easily been led to believe this to be a true tale.

Nolan is a crime reporter and TV producer and he really seems to utilise his expertise to help bring this story to life and provides an interesting insight to 90’s journalism. I felt almost as if I were there, watching it unfold. Crime fiction is my go-to genre, but I still managed to find some surprises in this book, especially toward the final third – you’ll have to read it yourself to see what I mean. 😉

Compelling, convincing and utterly gripping. A must-read for anyone who enjoys crime-fiction and a read they can’t put down.

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Blurb

In April 1990, as rioters took over Strangeways prison in Manchester, someone killed a little boy at Black Moss.

And no one cared.

No one except Danny Johnston, an inexperienced radio reporter trying to make a name for himself.

More than a quarter of a century later, Danny returns to his home city to revisit the murder that’s always haunted him.

If Danny can find out what really happened to the boy, maybe he can cure the emptiness he’s felt inside since he too was a child.

But finding out the truth might just be the worst idea Danny Johnston has ever had.

NgJgWTON_400x400 (1) Author Bio

David is a multi-award-winning author, television producer and crime reporter. He has written a dozen books including Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, the true story of the largest historic abuse case ever mounted by Greater Manchester Police. He presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary based on the book called The Abuse Trial. It won both the Rose D’Or and the New York International radio awards in 2016. Officers involved in the case helped David with the police procedures featured in Black Moss, particularly the way the system deals with missing children.