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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardottir translated by Quentin Bates #Review #Giveaway


We have an authentic piece of Icelandic Noir today which has been shortlisted for the Glass Key Award for best nordic crime novel.  Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardottir was published by Orenda Books on July 1st. I also have the opportunity for you to win a digital copy of the book. Details on how to enter this International Giveaway are at the foot of this post.

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 the death of her father in police custody so many years rears its head once 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...

The award-winning internationally bestselling author Lilja Sigurðardóttir returns with Betrayal, a relevant, powerful, fast-paced thriller about the worlds of politics, police corruption and misogyny that feels just a little bit too real..

My Thoughts

This crime thriller has layers and layers of betrayal woven through its pages. It has some clearly imagined characters, all of whom have human faults and some of whom are just morally corrupt. It seems only the spouses emerge as innocent. Politics in Iceland appears to be a hard and unscrupulous place.You never forget where you. The settings are crystal clear.

    Many of the characters can be looked at as victims as well as perpetrators. Post-traumatic stress has a part to play. Others act because they have no alternative, lacking power to change their lives. The plotting in this crime thriller seems so surefooted. There are links between story threads which are not immediately obvious. At the centre of the story stands Úrsula who has a veneer of coping but a shattered core. Úrsula keeps your sympathy throughout. Her character develops throughout, as she sees through the subterfuge and acquires her own political antennae. This is a clever thriller, sensitively translated by Quentin Bates.

In short: It's a cold, hard life in Iceland!

About the Author

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 a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Translation rights have been sold in eight countries to date, and film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner. 

You can connect with Lilja here: Twitter  |  Website
 Book links: Amazon UK

Thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books  for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour.

Don't forget to check out these other great bloggers! 
Giveaway (International)

To win a digital copy of Betrayal, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings.

Closing Date 6th October 2020 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions – International  entries only.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




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