I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir as part of the blog tour today. I absolutely loved its predecessor, Snare (you can see my review here), and Trap definitely lived up to my expectations.
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.
Trap opens in Florida with Sonja and her son, Tomas ,enjoying a different kind of lifestyle (and climate!) to what they’re used to. It’s clear that their peace won’t last, however, and it’s not long before Sonja and Tomas are forced back to Iceland, with Sonja losing even the brief contact she had with Tomas, given his father has legal custody over him. I really felt for Sonja – having taken the brave step to leave the country, her happiness is so brief as her ex-husband, Adam, manages to track her down, using their son as leverage to get her to do what he wants. Forced back into her life as a drug mule, she must now come up with yet another plan to escape the trap she’s in – one that is bigger and bolder than her previous plan.
The reader also catches up with Agla, Sonja’s on / off lover. Agla is still having difficulty accepting her sexuality, and this has driven a wedge between the two women, with Sonja understandably fed up of the cycle of drunken affection followed by the morning after shame that Agla seems to be stuck in. It’s a case of you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone for Agla as Sonja calls things off, and I thought that her inner turmoil and indecision played out brilliantly, finally allowing her to realise what it is that she wants. Agla is still under investigation for her actions in the lead up to the financial crash, but this doesn’t stop her putting another plan into action in order to clear herself and her former colleagues of a debt. I really like this story line, and it portrays Agla in a very different light, as in financial dealings she is a strong and decisive woman, providing a neat contrast to her love life.
If I had any concerns that the plot of Trap would too closely resemble that of Snare, these were quickly dismissed. Where Snare sees Sonja finding ever more inventive ways of carrying cocaine into the country, Trap goes beyond this and looks more at the people she is forced to work for. I don’t want to go into the details, but Sonja’s position is now much worse than before as she finds herself at the mercy of a new individual – one who is possibly even more ruthless than any we’ve met previously. I love a good villain, and this new character ticked a lot of boxes. Whilst following similar themes, the plot and situation are different, and I loved how the situation had escalated between the two.
Like Snare, Trap is a fast-paced novel that I read in no time at all. The short chapters practically beg you to read just one more, and I love the two women at the heart of these stories. I think it’s a real testament to Lilja’s writing that I really want them to get out of their respective predicaments and find a more peaceful, happy life. It’s almost as though they’re real. I really can’t recommend these novels enough.
Trap is published by Orenda Books, and will be available in paperback on 18 October – it’s available now as an eBook (and at the time of writing, it was available on Kindle for the bargain price of £0.99!) Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours and Orenda Books for the review copy and the opportunity to take part in the blog tour.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour: