The Sharp Edge Of A Snowflake- Sif Sigmarsdottir

This is a contemporary YA thriller out end of June in the Nordic Noir style set in the bitter cold approaching Christmas in Iceland partly about the dangers and lies of social media and whether the people behind the curtain are more dangerous than the truth itself.

A body on the frozen tundra beside a motorway outside of Reykjavik; a top secret algorithm; dangerous shadows and a hunger to find the truth punctuated by carefully crafted Instagram posts.

It is definitely a grower that builds and builds to an unbearable danger. The best of Nordic Noir but tempered for Young Adults.

Trigger warning for sexual assault and maternal death.

The sharp edge of a snowflake book cover

Hannah has messed up. Huge. She’s been expelled. Worse, her mother has died, but it wasn’t the mental health crises that finished her in the end. Worser still, she has been ordered to Iceland to live with her father and his perfectly Scandi-Chic family where she is most certainly the odd one out.

The only upside is she is being encouraged to pursue her passion for journalism as her father gets her onto the paper he runs.

Meanwhile Instagram Celebrity Imogen is tortured by a secret and has had enough of the lies and pretence, of being only valued by likes and what she is pictured wearing/doing not for who she is. Sent to Iceland to work under the man who ruined her life how much can she take?

Staring at waters edge
There is a permeating sense of loneliness throughout this book for both characters seemingly banished to this alien and hostile landscape

This is an exciting dual narrative psychological thriller transplanted from the adult world of Nordic Noir with murdered girls and police persons dripping with ennui.

There is a moody investigative Veronica Mars air about it with an expelled teenager grieving her mother and channeling that into her new journalistic position and the other protagonist has a conflicted personality as a jaded influencer with a million followers but the joy of it has fallen away especially in the wake of a sexual assault (Yes there is a scene that is likely to be triggering)

The northern lights
Both girls have arrived in Iceland during its bleakest season the approach of Midwinter which makes it difficult at times to see the beauty of the landscape, instead what is apparent is its cruelty

The plot itself has an interesting pace with interspersed Instagram posts to direct the perspective to whose turn it was to narrate with pithy commentary on what would be more appropriate captions.

There’s much discussion on the perils of social media and how such things can be turned by others into dark and twisted crafts to make others rich.

This was admittedly inspired in a loving way by Carole Cadwalladr’s expose of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and Sigmarsdóttir hopes that young girls who may not be aware of Cadwalladr’s efforts may be inspired by Hannah and this book to be hungry for the truth and be outraged enough to stand up against things like this which are sadly not fiction.

A foreboding building
This book explores the murky ethics of the social media world and how vulnerable we are to the malicious intent of others whether it be political, economic, social or emotional.

Overall a cracking plot, a great little mystery and interesting characters.

I love the directness of it, no romance or damascene moments, and it’s a huge compliment to say this has echoes of Wallender for teens, I hope this one takes root in the heart of young people everywhere.

The Sharp Edge Of A Snowflake- Sif Sigmarsdottir is published by Hachette. I originally received a proof to review on another site this has not affected my opinion.


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