Betrayal

Front Cover
Orenda Books Limited, Jul 1, 2020 - Fiction - 276 pages

A stunning standalone thriller from the Queen of Iceland Noir.

***Shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel***

‘Tough, uncompromising and unsettling’ Val McDermid

When aid worker Úrsula returns to Iceland for a new job, she’s drawn into the dangerous worlds of politics, corruption and misogyny ... a powerful, relevant, fast-paced standalone thriller.


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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...

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Praise for Lilja Sigurdardóttir

‘Tense and pacey’ Guardian

‘Highly unusual’ The Times

‘Smart writing with a strongly beating heart’ Big Issue

‘Deftly plotted’ Financial Times

‘Breathtakingly original’ New York Journal of Books

‘Taut, gritty and thoroughly absorbing’ Booklist

‘A stunning addition to the icy-cold crime genre’ Foreword Reviews

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About the author (2020)

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in the Reykjavik Noir series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap was published in 2018, and a Book of the Year in Guardian. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language a new profession as a seaman and a family, before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism, largely by accident. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, Cold Comfort and Thin Ice which have been published worldwide. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.
Visit him on Twitter @graskeggur or on his website graskeggur.com