Tag: Corylus Books

Corylus Books: Deceit by Jónína Leósdóttir (tr. Quentin Bates)

Today I’m welcoming Corylus Books back to the blog, with a stop on their blog tour for Deceit, the first novel by Icelandic author Jónína Leósdóttir to appear in English translation. 

Expat English psychologist Adam receives a call from his ex, police detective Soffia, asking to speak to him urgently. Adam is not happy about this, as he’s worried about catching Covid, but there’s no one else available for Soffia to turn to. She explains that the fresh fruit in a café has been found to be contaminated with needles. Other incidents of contamination emerge, and it turns out there’s a web of family ties connecting the targets. 

Deceit is one of those books that grabs you from the beginning and just keeps on going. I was especially intrigued by the setup, which grows only more complex as the pages turn. Adam and Soffia are a pair of contrasting and engaging characters that really help to give this mystery a distinctive feel. It was a pleasure to spend time in their world. 

Corylus Books: Harm by Sólveig Pálsdóttir (tr. Quentin Bates)

Today I’m joining a blog tour for Corylus Books, a small publisher of European crime fiction. We’re off to Iceland for Harm, the third of Sólveig Pálsdóttir’s novels to feature detective Guðgeir Fransson. It’s the first I have read, but it worked as a jumping-on point.

We meet Ríkharður, a fifty-something doctor on holiday with Diljá, his much younger girlfriend (ex, he has to remind himself), and four of her friends. Diljá finds Ríkharður dead one morning, and flees. Enter Guðgeir and his fellow detective Elsa Guðrún, who start to question Diljá’s friends while the police are searching for her.

Harm is a relatively short novel that moves along at a brisk pace, with a plot that shifts in several directions. The initial rounds of questioning uncover a darker side to Ríkharður, a fragile side to Diljá, and mysteries among Diljá’s friends – but Sólveig’s tale does not rest on its laurels.

I was pleased to find that I really couldn’t tell where Harm was going. I also appreciated the way Sólveig explored her characters’ backgrounds, illuminating complex moral issues. All in all, this novel was a highly intriguing read.

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