Reviews

Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

litwithleigh's review

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3.0

One sentence review: Another Honda Civic Reliable Nordic Noir

SYNOPSIS

Seven months after a troubled mother disappears, her body is found brutally beaten in a cave. Elma and her team are tasked with tracing the shaky steps of the original missing persons investigation to find the killer. And as they do so, revelations about the deceased and her daughter come to light.

MY OPINION

Another solid HRC addition to this series. And would ya look at that: I read them in order! I'll be grabbing #3 once it goes on sale ( update 12/13 it went on sale! Snatched! ) I quite enjoy this series, even though it doesn't blow me away. In a way, the blandness of the characters and their neutral personalities are what make these reads reliable. Surprise, surprise but NOT being annoyed af at characters (especially if I can't stand the alleged protagonist), makes my reading experience so much better.

But on the flip side, the lack of character depth is what really holds this book back from being great. It's been a year between cases, but nothing has happened in their personal lives. Elma continues to whine about her frayed relationship with Dagny and the subtle, but blossoming, relationship between Elma and Saever went nowhere?? The lack of progress wasn't really addressed either; Elma just said the tension dissipated. How sway?? You can't just go from silently holding hands on a beach to NOTHING happening, not even a lil awkward convo about WHY things can't move forward?? There's not often such a long gap between cases in a series, so the absence of character growth over such a significant period of time was kinda ?????

While I enjoyed this book more than #1, the setup was VERY similar. You've got a troubled woman with hella secrets who moved away from Arkanes but ended up back there and dead. You've got flashbacks and kids being weird. It was sorta like she took the same cookie recipe but swapped out chocolate chips for white chocolate chips lol.

Like the first book, the flashbacks were my favourite part. I'm obvi not a mother, but I absolutely empathized with the unnamed narrators struggles with postpartum depression and newfound motherhood. I can't imagine how emotionally and physically difficult it is to incubate a baby for 9 months and then feel absolutely nothing but contempt for it. And to really have no control over these feelings. Really sad shit. So yeah, big TW for this.

Now, my main rich homie qualm is the twisty twist wasn't foreshadowed enough. There weren't any clues about the unnamed narrator, their identity was just suddenly revealed. In fact, the author could've been like yeah the unnamed narrator is Ivanka Trump and you'd be like ight, I can't really argue with that because there wasn't any evidence of the contrary. If the twist had been more subtly foreshadowed, I would've been more impressed with the reveal.

The ending was... meh. After the twisty twist in one of the flashbacks, the author went full spoon-feed mode and the rest of the novel her telling you how everything came to be. Not a fan. Also one of the reveals made me hella uncomfy :/

PROS AND CONS

Pros: juicy case, great flashbacks (very emotional), switzerland neutral characters that won't annoy you LOL

Cons: the twisty twist wasn't foreshadowed enough to make it bangerlicious, romantic storyline was literally yeeted and then picked back up on the very last page... wut

celtic67's review

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4.0

Good 2nd book in the series. But can be read as a stand alone

julie_sapienza's review

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dark mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

namitakhanna's review

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4.0

Girls Who Lie is a well written Icelandic mystery with captivating descriptions of the weather and the beautiful countryside. It’s the second book in the series but can definitely be read as a stand- alone. A dark disturbing tale which was a slow burner at the start for me but the author did a fantastic job of slowly building the tension up with some surprise twists and turns and an ending that I definitely wasn't expecting.

I would like to thank the TBC Reviewers request group & the author for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review

rita_reads_books's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

krobart's review

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3.0

See my review here:

https://whatmeread.wordpress.com/2023/10/05/review-2247-girls-who-lie/

chery_swedish's review

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3.0

Quitadle las placas a Elma y Sævar. Esos dos no resuelven ni un caso.

cransuz's review

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adventurous mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

booksbybindu's review

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5.0

‘Girls Who Lie’ is an outstanding book. It’s taut, chilling, completely gripping, a fascinating location and oh my the tension! This is the second book in the Forbidden Iceland series but it can be read as a standalone. However, I recommend you read ‘Creak on the Stairs’ as it's brilliant - plus it just won a CWA Dagger so you know it's a great series!

Iceland and its country is another character in this book as Eva brilliantly describes the landscape and its weather, to the extent that you feel you are there hearing the windows rattle in the wind. Plus, I don't think I have ever read a book where the deposition site is a cave in a lava field before! So unique.

The addition of the chapters in which you find out about the life of a young mother 15 years ago made for a gradual build-up of information and tension. As a reader, you wanted to know more and the background behind the mother's experience. I must say when the ‘ah-ha’ moment arrived I was not expecting it at all! Well done Eva!

I really enjoyed the interaction between Elma and Saver as they were a good counterbalance to the dark aspects of the book. The development of both their characters I felt made them come across as more human and well rounded. I can't wait to see what happens to them in the next book. It's these two characters which made the book compelling.

Random point here - I can't wait to try a danish pastry that is so long it has to be cut into pieces. That sounds like heaven!

I can't wait for the next in the series.

olidor's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced

4.0