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  • Writer's pictureDean Asquith

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir Review

Writer: Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publish Date: 1st October 2020

Pages: 276

Reviewed By: Dean Asquith

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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…

My Opinion

A tense, political thriller covered in a cloak of fear, humanity and intoxicating mystery.

I have never read any Nordic before, however I do seem to have some form of attachment to the Nordic culture and history. That made this novel by Lilja Sigurdardóttir extremely intriguing to me. I will give a big thanks to the wonderful team at Orenda Books for the review copy.

Lilja Sigurdardóttir has begun what I believe will be a long love of Nordic novels. This honestly is a phenomenal story which involves deep betrayals, mysterious magic and violent political unrest. I was on holiday, off the grid, whilst reading this book and I couldn't put it down. Every moment of calm involved me flipping open my kindle and whisking away to frozen Iceland. Every chapter played out like a thriller TV series and Lilja has a supreme ability to develop a world inside your mind.

The story itself is a wild ride. Within the covers there is everything from Norse magic to political deception and cover ups at the highest levels! Each of the chapters are packed with intense action and always ends with a terrific cliff-hanger that wills you to carry on reading and more often than not… I did, normally way past when I should have been asleep!

If you are looking for rich characters then look no further. Lilja has created a wealth of deeply intriguing and investable characters. Each of which has the ability to lead its own story, in fact they do. Each character has their own storyline that is entwined with that of Úrsula. These storylines have been given as much attention as Úrsula’s and provides a support for the main story whilst keeping the novel fresh and satisfying.

Betrayal will forever hold a special place in my heart as a novel that has kickstarted a love of Nordic novels. A sublime story of fighting the good fight, betrayal on the grandest scale wrapped up with Norse magic and fantastic personal journeys. Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir is a suspenseful Nordic crime thriller that hooks you and doesn’t let go.

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