A review by litwithleigh
Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir


One sentence review: Another Honda Civic Reliable Nordic Noir


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.


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: 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