Book Review

Betrayal – Lilja Sigurðardóttir

Today I am joining the epic blog tour for Betrayal by Lilja Sigurðardóttir. Many thanks to Lilja and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of this book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour.


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 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 ago 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 witchlike cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised even higher…

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


Betrayal Cover


I seem to have had a little spate lately of reading books by Icelandic authors, and whilst I have enjoyed them all, I have sometimes struggled to connect with the characters, and have found the plots to be more event driven than emotion driven. I love books where characters really get under my skin and Lilja Sigurðardóttir has achieved this wonderfully in Betrayal. Each character is so deeply fleshed out, with their own secrets and reasons for their actions, their own secret suffering, that they just leapt of the page at me. That said, I found that although I warmed to each of the female characters in different ways, I was distrustful of almost all the male characters – whether this is because of the fact that there was more than one story thread relating to violence against women, or if it speaks more to my own frame of mind while reading, I am unsure. 

The story unfolds through the very different perspectives of the government minister, the bodyguard, the cleaner, the wife of a policeman accused of rape, and the apparently homeless chap. These people and their lives seemed so far removed from each other that it made me wonder how the separate threads would tie up, and this made for intriguing reading. These mysteries about how all these different personalities from so many walks of life would turn out to be interconnected drew me into the book so deeply and refused to release me from their grasp until the very last page.

Betrayal is the first book by Lilja Sigurðardóttir that I have read, but I know it will not be the last.


Lilja Author Pic JPEGIcelandic 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, including Snare, Trap, and Cage, making up the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavik with her partner.






Orenda Books – Twitter

Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in this blog tour.

Betrayal BT Poster

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