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The Creak on the Stairs

Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

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When a woman’s body is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, investigators discover shocking secrets in her past. First in the disturbing, chillingly atmospheric, addictive new Forbidden Iceland series.

**WINNER of the Storytel Award for Best Crime Novel 2020**
**WINNER of the Blackbird Award for Best Icelandic Crime Novel**
**SHORTLISTED for the Amazon Publishing Readers Award for Best Independent Voice**
**SHORTLISTED for the Amazon Publishing Readers Award for Best Debut Novel**
**LONGLISTED for the CWA New Blood Dagger**

‘Eva Björg Ægisdóttir’s accomplished first novel is not only a full-fat mystery, but also a chilling demonstration of how monsters are made’ The Times

'Fans of Nordic Noir will love this moving debut from Icelander Eva Björg Ægisdóttir’s. It's subtle, nuanced, with a sympathetic central character and the possibilities of great stories to come' Ann Cleeves

‘An exciting and harrowing tale from one of Iceland’s rising stars’ Ragnar Jónasson


When a body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day …

But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

For fans of Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Ruth Rendell, P D James, Sarah Hilary and Camilla Lackberg


‘Elma leaves Reykjavik CID for a job with the police in her hometown of Akranes, deeming it “every bit as quiet as it appeared to be” — until the discovery of a murdered woman starts to unravel a thread of long-buried crimes hidden deep in the community. Elma is a fantastic heroine’ Sunday Times

‘We’re used to Icelandic writers lowering the temperature — in more ways than one — and Ægisdóttir proves to be adept at this chilly art as any of her confrères (and consoeurs). Elma is a memorably complex character, and Victoria Cribb’s translation is (as usual) non-pareil’ Financial Times

‘A deserted lighthouse and a murdered woman set the scene for this haunting and compelling mystery where the dark secrets of a small town are shockingly exposed. As chilling and atmospheric as an Icelandic winter’ Lisa Gray, author of Thin Air

‘The setting in Iceland is fascinating, the descriptions creating a vivid picture of the reality of living in a small town. The Creak on the Stairs is a captivating tale with plenty of tension and a plot to really get your teeth into’ LoveReading

‘At each stage, Ægisdóttir is not giving us information but asking things of us. She’s getting us to think through the implications: what if it’s him, what if it’s her, what would it mean? We’re involved, we’ve got skin in the game and we can’t ask for more as readers’ Café Thinking

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