Karen Sullivan, publisher of Orenda Books, has acquired World English Language rights for 29-year-old Icelandic debut author Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir’s The Creak on the Stairs, and a second (untitled) book, in a two-book, London Book Fair pre-empt, negotiated with David Headley of DHH Literary Agency.
“An exquisitely written, disturbing, claustrophobic and chillingly atmospheric police procedural, centring around the discovery of a woman’s body at a lighthouse near Akranes in Iceland, The Creak on the Stairs introduces Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to the town following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, whose investigations uncover a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate and threaten in the present day,” said Orenda.
Bjorg AEgisdottir was the winner of the inaugural Blackbird Award for Icelandic crime-writing, sponsored by bestselling authors Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson, and designed to encourage more Icelanders to try their hand at crime, and to write in their native language.
Sullivan said: “I was instantly drawn to this novel, not just because of the beautiful writing, rich characterisation, complex plotting, and exceptional atmosphere created, but also by the sensitivity with which Eva has depicted a series of shocking crimes, and portrayed its victims. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut, and that its author is only 29. The Creak on the Stairs is the perfect addition to our award-winning list of sophisticated international fiction that transports, entertains and enlightens, while tackling societal issues and provoking thought and debate.”
Headley added: “I am delighted to place in the very professional and talented hands of Karen at Orenda Books this award-winning and brilliant debut from a fantastic new voice in Nordic crime. The Creek on the Stairs is an intricate, realistic picture of a small town and its inhabitants, and slowly uncovering the character’s secrets building to a climatic ending. It really is superb!”
Translated by Victoria Cribb, The Creak on the Stairs will be published in Spring 2020.