You Can’t See Me by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir tr. Victoria Cribb #bookreview #YouCantSeeMe #ForbiddenIceland #IcelandicNoir

A wealthy Icelandic family is investigated and dark secrets are exposed when a body is found on the lava fields outside the hotel where they’ve gathered for a reunion … the chilling, gripping prequel to the addictive Forbidden Iceland series The wealthy, powerful Snæberg clan has gathered for a family reunion at a futuristic hotel set amongst the dark lava flows of Iceland’s remote Snæfellsnes peninsula. Petra Snæberg, a successful interior designer, is anxious about the event, and her troubled teenage daughter, Lea, whose social-media presence has attracted the wrong kind of followers. Ageing carpenter Tryggvi is an outsider, only tolerated because he’s the boyfriend of Petra’s aunt, but he’s struggling to avoid alcohol because he knows what happens when he drinks … Humble hotel employee, Irma, is excited to meet this rich and famous family and observe them at close quarters … perhaps too close… As the weather deteriorates and the alcohol flows, one of the guests disappears, and it becomes clear that there is a prowler lurking in the dark. But is the real danger inside … within the family itself? 
Masterfully cranking up the suspense, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir draws us into an isolated, frozen setting, where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted, as the dark secrets and painful pasts of the Snæberg family are uncovered … and the shocking truth revealed. A Golden Age mystery for the 21st Century, with a shocking twist.


Hi and welcome to my review of You Can’t See Me!

You Can’t See Me is a prequel to the Forbidden Iceland series, which features Chief Investigating Officer Elma. The current story covers a couple of days in 2017, just before Elma joins the Akranes police force, so we don’t get to see Elma, only her colleagues.

That is not the only difference with the previous books. Although a police investigation is at the very core of the story and keeps popping up, in the total scheme of things it’s almost rather unimportant. In other words, in comparison to the previous books, You Can’t See Me is much less of a police procedural. 

Although the blurb clearly states that You Can’t See Me is a mystery, I did expect it to be more like the other books in the series, I expected more of a police procedural. What I got, at least at first, read more like contemporary fiction as we explore this rich and well-known family and their relationships, and I will admit that I had to flip a mental switch of sorts. Fortunately, that turned out to be an easy thing to do. It did help that I love reading about big wealthy families and all their issues and secrets. (Maybe because I have a rather small extended family and we are neither disgustingly rich nor famous 🤔😂) 

You Can’t See Me is definitely a slow-burner, yet it is riveting. This family and their shenanigans drew me in and I found myself thinking about the story and its people when I wasn’t reading. I found myself trying to fit the pieces together, figure out the secrets and the motives and the crime.

Even though You Can’t See Me was not quite what I expected, I ended up having a fantastic time with it and it may very well be my new favourite in the series. If you enjoy slow-burning mysteries that are set in remote locations (it’s not quite a locked-room mystery but it’s close) and have a cast of not entirely likeable characters, this is one you won’t want to miss. Recommended!

You Can’t See Me is out in paperback and digital formats on 6 July 2023. Pre-order it directly from Orenda Books here.

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

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