About The Book
Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tómas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.
Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tómas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Oh Lilja Sigurðardóttir, how clever you are! First you snared me with, er, Snare and now you’ve trapped me with, um, Trap. For those of you who are new to the Reykjavik Noir series, Trap is the second book and whilst it could be read as a standalone I would recommend giving Snare a read first so you can fully immerse yourself in the world Sigurðardóttir has created.
Trap begins with our protagonist, Sonja, living in a trailer park with her son Tómas, who has made friends and is happily learning to play basketball. Yet Sonja has hidden a wad of cash in the microwave and is planning their next move, so things aren’t quite as great as they seem. When Tómas is taken by two men Sonja’s past suddenly catches her up taking her from the blistering heat of Florida back to the icy cold of Iceland.
This isn’t a book about a woman tracking down her son, it isn’t even a book about a woman being hunted a big bad man, it is a book about a strong, capable woman who is putting herself firmly in the driving seat and taking control of her life. In the first book , Snare, Sonja was forced into drug smuggling and in this book she resumes this life again, except this time, she is calling the shots.
God I love Sonja. She is such a brilliant character and one that it is really easy to root for, even when she is doing very dark and dangerous things. The thing is, Lilja Sigurðardóttir writes her with such compassion and depth that we fully understand her motivations and when she is winding her way through customs with a suitcase filled with cocaine I really, really wanted her to succeed. She is by no means an angel, but her motivations are pure; she wants to have full custody of her son, and she will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.
Sonja’s ex husband has custody of Tomas, something which he uses against her time and time again. He is annoyed and embarrassed as she left him for a woman, Agla. A woman who just happened to be his colleague. Oh, and they both worked in the financial sector and are under investigation for the Icelandic Crash. Whoops.
There is a bit of a moral conundrum in Trap and it really forced me to take a long hard look at my views and opinions, because it asks who are the real criminals here? Sonja who is bringing drugs into Iceland or those people stealing millions and hiding their spoils in offshore accounts? I felt sympathy for Sonja and therefore understand why she is hiding cocaine in pickle jars, but Agla, not so much. That doesn’t mean to say I didn’t like her because I do, Lilja Sigurðardóttir has yet again written a fantastically three-dimensional character. In fact, Agla’s character development in this book was brilliant to read and I really felt that I understood her and got to know her much better than I did in Snare. I loved how Lilja Sigurðardóttir took the foundations she laid in Snare and built upon them to create wonderful characters and compelling development.
This book is fast and pacey and packed full of tension with short, sharp chapters making sure that I kept turning the pages. I love how tight the prose is and how Lilja Sigurðardóttir can communicate so much in a few sentences with incredible translation by the immensely talented Quentin Bates. The book comes in at under 300 pages but it packs a real punch with some hair-raising moments and clever and inventive twists. It is a brilliant read and is another inventive book from an accomplished and talented writer.
About The Author
Icelandic 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, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
My thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to join the Blog Tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. Trap is out now in ebook and in paperback.