2016 Spotlight: Why Did You Lie by Yrsa Sigurdardottir


Publication Date: 11th August 2016 from Hodder and Staughton

(Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb)

Source: Review copy

A journalist on the track of an old case attempts suicide. An ordinary couple return from a house swap in the states to find their home in disarray and their guests seemingly missing. Four strangers struggle to find shelter on a windswept spike of rock in the middle of a raging sea. They have one thing in common: they all lied.  And someone is determined to punish them…

This is my first book from this author – MY BOOK HALO IS SLIPPING – how could I have missed them? But it certainly won’t be my last, Why Did You Lie was superb. Working on every level, plotting, characters and insane amounts of creepy haunting prose that led to me peering out from under my duvet like a kid checking for monsters under the bed. Monsters of the human kind…

Why Did You Lie follows several  strands – a family returning from a holiday, a small group of people in a confined space awaiting rescue and a police officer whose husband has recently attempted suicide. All of these slowly but surely edge us towards the link between them all and the truth behind a lie told many years before. It is really quite beautifully layered and utterly compelling throughout, Yrsa Sigurdardottir building the tension through a series of events that are dotted about over a short period of time.

I was freaked out a lot by this novel in the best possible way. The atmospheric sense of it is really involving, a pervading sense of menace with the source just out of reach, glimpses caught from the corner of an eye – and some classic scene setting that just really engages you into each and every moment. For me the intricacy in this cleverly woven web was highly addictive, despite it making me jump at every shadow including my own, it was eerily beautifully fascinating and explores the depths of human nature, especially the darker side of that, with a fine eye and a character driven narrative.

It is chilly! And claustrophobic. And intensely disturbing. And the ending means I will DEFINITELY be looking for those monsters under the bed for a good while to come. So that there was a damn good read. Loved it.

Highly Recommended. And kudos to the translator.

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To purchase Why Did You Lie clickety click right HERE

Happy shivery reading!





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