Boys Who Hurt by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir tr. Victoria Cribb #bookreview #BoysWhoHurt #ForbiddenIceland

Fresh from maternity leave, Detective Elma finds herself confronted with a complex case, when a man is found murdered in a holiday cottage in the depths of the Icelandic countryside – the victim of a frenzied knife attack, with a shocking message scrawled on the wall above him.
At home with their baby daughter, SÆvar is finding it hard to let go of work, until the chance discovery in a discarded box provides him with a distraction. Could the diary of a young boy, detailing the events of a long-ago summer have a bearing on Elma’s case?
Once again, the team at West Iceland CID have to contend with local secrets in the small town of Akranes, where someone has a vested interest in preventing the truth from coming to light. And SÆvar has secrets of his own that threaten to destroy his and Elma’s newfound happiness.
Tense, twisty and shocking, Boys Who Hurt is the next, addictive installment in the award-winning Forbidden Iceland series, as dark events from the past endanger everything…


Hi and welcome to my review of Boys Who Hurt!

Boys Who Hurt is the fifth instalment in the Forbidden Iceland series, but I do think it could be read as a standalone. Note that the characters have grown throughout the series, notably protagonist Elma has quite a big character arc, so I would advise to start at the beginning.

This series has everything I love about and look for in Nordic literature, and Boys Who Hurt only confirms that. It’s a quieter sort of police investigation and it’s not action-packed in a high-octane action thriller sort of way, but that doesn’t mean there is no action and no suspense, there sure is no lack of that with multiple dead bodies and loads of secrets threatening to come out. Speaking of, I’m already looking forward to the next instalment cos one of those secrets turned into something of a cliffhanger and I’m dying to find out where the author will take it! 

Eva Björg Ægisdóttir is a master in keeping her cards close to her chest, dropping hints, allowing small reveals, never entirely showing her hand until the very last moment, and those dangling threads always attract me like a flame does a moth, they’re simply irresistible. I always manage to figure a few things out before Elma and her team do, but I’m starting to think it’s not because I’m terribly clever, more like Eva allows her readers to see a glimpse of the truth first.

Boys Who Hurt is  another fab addition to a fantastic Nordic thriller / police procedural series and I had a great time trying to fit the pieces together. I would definitely recommend Boys Who Hurt, and this entire series, to fans of Scandi literature.

Boys Who Hurt is out in paperback and digital formats on 18 July. Pre-order it directly from Orenda Books here.

Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the DRC. All opinions are my own.

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