I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I am only just getting round to reading Snare from Lilja Sigurðardóttir. I bought this and the second in the series, “Trap” some time ago but for some reason they have lain neglected on my shelves! I’m so sorry, please forgive me! But now at least I understand the pineapple jokes!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. 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, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
I’m currently kicking myself for taking so long to read this series but delighted as I have Trap ready to read straight after this and Cage (the 3rd in the series) will be published in October. So it just means I have a little Lilja Sigurðardóttir binge to look forward to!
What can I say but OMG! I have heard Lilja’s cheese smuggling tales before at book events and the relevance of this to her research for her books will be something that fans of this series will understand. Snare has been expertly translated by Quentin Bates and the narrative flows effortlessly.
Lilja Sigurðardóttir has painted a perfect picture in Snare; from the impact of the financial crash, the volcanic ash to Sonja’s desperate situation being caught up in the snare, I was immediately grabbed and thrown into the story. I literally could not put this down and read it in two sittings, only sleep preventing me from reading in one go!
I immediately clicked with Sonja. From the very outset as a reader you know she is doing something illegal, something wrong but it is also very clear that she has no choice and that there are always many shades of gray when it comes to decisions we sometimes make. Her love for her son, Tomas shone through the pages. It tore my heart to see the distress both she and Tomas felt at being separated from each other.
She is in a complicated relationship with Agla, a woman who also has connections with her ex-husband Adam. Alga is confused about her sexuality and there was an overwhelming feeling of tension and angst as Sonja’s heart was slowly being broken as Alga blows hot and cold throughout. It was also difficult not to feel for Alga as her part in the financial crisis is laid bare and we see just what she faces in her fight to keep her freedom.
Lilja Sigurðardóttir has created a fabulous and relatable cast of characters; each quite distinct and with a depth that just begs to be uncovered as the series develops. Bragi, the customs officer who is terrified of being forced to retire and live a life of solitude will melt your heart as you learn why he is so keen to remain working. Not all the characters are kind though and it is safe to say I met a few who I’d happily murder in a dark alley!
The impact of the financial crisis is still being felt and its ripples impact on the lives of all of the characters. This is an authentic look at the impact of the crash – a country where bankers had been idolised turned to one where they were spat on in the street such was the intensity of feelings against them.
A fabulous sense of place is provided from the seedy backdrops of drug dens to the heart stopping walks through customs faced by Sonja on each trip she takes. Full of tension, Snare is the perfect title for this book, for you will pick it up and it will ensnare you within the pages until you turn the very last page.
Snare is available to purchase from: