Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas 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 Tomas 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…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, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
‘A tense thriller with a highly unusual plot and interesting characters’ Marcel Berlins, The Times
‘Tense, edgy and delivering more than a few unexpected twists and turns’ The Times Crime Club Star Pick
‘With characters you can’t help sympathising with against your better judgement, Sigurdardottir takes the reader on a breathtaking ride’ Daily Express
‘The intricate plot is breathtakingly original, with many twists and turns you never see coming. Thriller of the year’ New York Journal of Book
I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser Ann Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Following on from the fantastic Snare, Trap is the continuation of the story of Sonja who had escaped from the control of the drug lords and her sometimes lover Alga, a banker who owes money to some extremely powerful men.
Firstly I have to say that if you haven’t read Snare, the first featuring these characters, then to make the most of this wonderful series of books you should. I promise you reading both, is worth every second of your reading time!
When a read a sequel, I want it to develop and continue the story, Lilja Sigurdardottir does this by developing the narrative and the characters we have already come to love reading about. As readers she wraps us in the same complex and dark world of drug lords, mules and corrupt bankers, so that we are as immersed in the mire as they are, leaving us scared, shocked and fearful at the ease at which the trap can be sprung. Seriously you begin to wonder, could this happen to any of us? It’s this, which explains why this book is such an original and exciting read. It could be any of us, trapped in a nightmare of drugs and corruption, simply my making one mistake, taking one misstep! She creates a strange and complex world where drug smuggling and financial misdeeds are interconnected, you are never sure about the intricacies that join the two worlds, but you just know that it’s laced with danger. With every page you read, your tension levels rise. I felt on edge throughout, as trapped as the characters and that is a remarkable thing to achieve in a work of fiction.
I know character wise, you’re not meant to like people that don’t behave well, but I love them. There I admit it, I like both Alga and Sonja. Alga in particular has a skewed ethical code, yet I find myself liking her, flawed that she is, troubled and confused, I feel a connection that can’t be denied and that is down to the quality of the writing. Then there is dear, sweet Bragi who does what he does for love, corrupt as it is, you know that events drive his actions. As for Sonja, I say again, the behaviour of others compel her activities after the trap ensnares her. She is not perfect, but, in some ways her actions are as driven by love as Bragi’s. I struggle to imagine, a more perfect set of characters and I hope this is not the last we hear of them.
This is a superb thriller and deserves to be on the reading list of all book lovers, not just thriller aficionados. Character and plot wise it works on all levels.
Special mention must go to the translator Quentin Bates who yet again has ensured we hear the author’s voice with perfect clarity.
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. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
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About the translator
Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language a new profession as a seaman and a family, before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism, largely by accident. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, Cold Comfort and Thin Ice which have been published worldwide. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.