Orenda Books has signed an "original, fast-paced and sexy" Icelandic thriller series by crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir.
Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, acquired world English language rights to two books from Úa Matthíasdóttir at Forlagið Publishing. TV rights have been sold to 66 Degrees North/Palomar pictures in North America
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a "dark, fast-paced and chilling" plot and "intriguing" characters, the first in the series, Snare, is an "outstandingly original" and "sexy" Nordic crime thriller, which evokes the Icelandic landscape, bringing the people and the culture "alive in stunning detail".
After a messy divorce, young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. Things become even more complicated when she embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath the Icelandic financial crash.
Sullivan said: "I am utterly thrilled to welcome Lilja to the Orenda team, and to publish the first two titles in the Reykjavik Noir series – both bestsellers in Iceland and in France. The tender love story at the heart is an added bonus, and this timely, topical and breathtakingly dark thriller is head and shoulders above the rest. The appetite for great-quality Nordic Noir remains voracious, and this series has bestseller written all over it."
Sigurðardóttir said: "I have followed Orenda Books with admiration from the start in 2014. Karen Sullivan's amazing dedication to each story and each author is an important sign for me that Orenda is all about the passion for books. I am overjoyed and extremely honoured to be joining their list of wonderful authors."
Snare will be published in autumn 2017, with the sequel following a year later. The series will be translated by Quentin Bates.