Imogen Collins is everything I expected her to be: beautiful, stylish, elegant, and a total cow.
Hannah Eiríksdóttir has been banished from her home in London to a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. No, not Hell, but close: Iceland. Imogen Collins has the perfect life as a social media influencer, showing off her glamorous London existence to adoring fans. But behind the filters lies a dark secret. When a man is found murdered at the edge of the road in snowy Iceland the girls’ lives collide.
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3 / 5
Reading The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake was a much better experience than the other book that I had read by this author – I Am Traitor. Snowflake is a contemporary murder mystery with heavy themes of sexual assault, family, and social media.
A piece of the puzzle is missing. Who is Imogen Collins?
First off, I loved the setting. I’ve never been to Iceland but I’d love to go – the long dark nights with clear skies, the perpetual snow, the sense of a hard, tight-knit community set against the harshness of the landscape. All this really came across in the book and definitely made it feel different.
To the plot! Hannah is half-Icelandic, sent to live with her father after the death of her ill mother. Imogen is all English and a social media influencer, in Iceland on business. I liked Imogen. She’s good-looking and she makes the most of it via Instagram, but she’s also sensible, recognising that these kind of jobs are short-lived and has flourishing career in the psychology of advertising using data. Interesting stuff. Their lives intersect when a man is murdered in Iceland; Hannah is working for the paper writing about the crime and Imogen is arrested as the prime suspect.
she is seen, she is heard, she is loved. The feeling is more invigorating than coffee. And just as addictive
What did I like? I liked the two women, tenacious and difficult and troubled in their own ways. I liked how the author dipped into different topics as she wove together the story of a murder – the role of family, the ethics of journalism, etc. A big part of the plot revolves around Imogen being sexually assaulted at work at never reporting it; I felt like this topic was handled maturely and respectfully.
What didn’t I like? I found the actual ‘answer’ to the mystery to be entirely underwhelming, confusing, and a little bit far-fetched. I thought the book suffered from a lack of focus; Sigmarsdóttir tries to pack a lot into what is really quite a small book – sexual assault, a murder, family, mental illness, change, social media, the ethics of journalism, etc. There isn’t room to adequately discuss and resolve all of these topics. I also found myself a little confused quite often; when each girl arrives in Iceland they are ‘paired up’ with an Icelandic boy, both of whom are pretty similar. I often got them confused.
Overall, The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake is a mature, thoughtful read. It had a lot to say and even though it had a few flaws, I did enjoy it.
My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this book.