Tag Archives: Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Blog Tour: Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

trap

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:

Trap First BT Poster

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Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

snare

I loved the sound of Snare when I first came across it.  Its premise struck me as being different to anything else I’ve read, and I was intrigued by the premise of a woman forced into the role of drug mule, wondering how someone might find themselves in that position.

Following her divorce, Sonja finds herself in debt to the kinds of people that you really don’t want to be indebted to.  Coerced into smuggling drugs into Iceland, she finds that she has something of a flair for it, always making sure that she has a plan as well as a backup plan should things go awry.  She is able to save up some money, under the cover of running a computer company, and longs for nothing more than making her final smuggling trip and regaining custody of her son.  Of course, the point at which her debt will be repaid is unclear, and her threats to stop are met with threats to her son’s wellbeing.

With the shipments becoming increasingly bigger, she finds herself being singled out by customs officer, Bragi, who’s convinced that there is more to her than a lady who frequently travels abroad for business.

Sonja is a fantastic character, and one that I was immediately taken with.  Her situation is horrific, and I thought that the alternating feelings of rage, fear, and resigned acceptance were brilliantly portrayed as she tries, unsuccessfully, to escape from the situation she finds herself in.  The people she works for give no indication of when, if ever, her debt might be repaid, and seeing her capabilities, force her into smuggling in ever larger shipments into the country.  And if she refuses?  Well, they know where her son is… She really is between a rock and a hard place, and I can’t imagine what I’d do in that situation.

Another complication in Sonja’s life, not that she needs it, is her relationship with Agla.  Agla worked with Sonja’s husband, who found them in a compromising situation one day, thus triggering the divorce.  Now under investigation for her involvement in activities contributing to the Icelandic financial crash, Agla seems to be in denial about her sexual preferences, often turning up at Sonja’s house drunk and in need of comfort, but running away the following morning.  I thought that their relationship was shown brilliantly, and I loved the few tender moments between them, before Agla’s shame made her say something hurtful to Sonja.  The backdrop of an Iceland following on from the financial crash also brings the setting to life, and I found the investigation into Agla and her colleagues to be a fascinating parallel storyline.

I thought that Snare was fantastic.  It moves along quickly, and whilst you might think that reading about someone making repeated runs abroad in order to smuggle drugs in their country might become repetitive, I loved how inventive Sonja was in her plans.  And the pace moves quickly, as things become increasingly difficult for Sonja as well as the investigation into Agla and her colleagues, eventually leading to prosecutions.  There is also a brilliant twist later in the novel that took me by surprise, but that I thought worked brilliantly.  This is a brilliant, original novel, and I can’t wait to read the second instalment, Trap, which is published in October.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐