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.
Oh I really did enjoy this book very much indeed. Its a delight to take part in the blogtour for a book which I am sure will become a massive success.
Sonja and Adam have not long emerged from a bitter divorce; one in which Sonja was caught in the marital bed with Agla, a colleague of Adam’s in the banking industry.
Now Sonja has been left with no income, no house, and worst of all, she has lost custody of her only son, Tomas, whom she can now only see once a fortnight.
Now living in rented accommodation, Sonja is desperate to get her son back, but she knows that to do that she will have to have a secure income and a permanent residence, but all of those seem very far away for this young mother who was Tomas’ main carer and whom Tomas misses a great deal.
With no obvious way out, Sonja is despairing until she is offered a lifeline. Not without danger, but lucrative enough to get her back on the housing ladder if she can play her cards right, Sonja embarks on her new life as a smuggler, inventing a whole new persona for herself and risking everything to reunite her with her son on a full time basis.
But life is never quite that simple, especially when you are a middle class housewife trying to deal with the criminal underworld, and Sonja soon finds herself trapped between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
This is the book’s central storyline and how it plays out is both tense and fascinating. Watching Sonja being sucked in ever deeper as she struggles to try and retain even a vestige of control of her life is chilling and the risks to which she is exposed are very harrowing indeed.
Meanwhile, Agla, with whom Sonja was originally entangled, is experiencing many difficulties of her own. Not only is she being investigated for bank fraud following the Icelandic bank crash, but she is also very conflicted about her relationship with Sonja. She loves the sex and being with Sonja, but she is embarrassed by their relationship; she cannot admit to wanting Sonja. Between the stress that the investigation is causing and the relationship, Agla is drinking way too much and her relationship with Sonja is somewhat frazzled and occasionally tempestuous.
Bragli is nearing retirement age. He is so close in fact, that his superiors keep suggesting he leaves, but his work is the only thing that keeps Bragli going, outside of the constant visits to his ailing wife, who is being cared for in a home as a result of dementia. All he wants is to be able to look after her properly, as he worries that the care she is getting may not be as gentle as it should be.
The cat and mouse game followed by Sonja and Bragli forms another credible part of this easy to read story. Written in fairly short chapters, Snare is an incredibly pacy book, in which the translation effortlessly carries you from one person’s perspective to another.
It’s a very straightforward read, but also quite different to anything I have read recently and I thoroughly enjoyed it, in particular watching Sonja as a daring and quite dauntless protagonist who will stop at nothing to hold on to what she loves most.
Snare is the first book in the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, and I am now champing at the bit to read the others.
Snare is published by Orenda Books on 1st October 2017.
About by Lilja Sigurðardóttir
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 Reykjavik with her partner.
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