Thursday 7 December 2017

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir - translated by Quentin Bates @lilja1972 @graskeggur @OrendaBooks #Snare

A stunning thriller the first in the Reykjavik Noir series - by bestselling Icelandic crime writer, with an unforgettable lesbian protagonist. 

After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonya 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 Sonya embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavik still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajokull 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.

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 1 October 2017 and was translated from Icelandic by Quentin Bates.

A snare is a trap from which it is difficult to escape. This book certainly lives up to its name. I was caught in Lilja Sigurdardottoir's trap from the very first paragraph and she kept me captive until I turned the final page. This is one hell of a story, a mind blowing read.

Lead character Sonja is ensnared, she's caught up in a seedy, dangerous underworld. Smuggling cocaine into Iceland in order to save enough money to get her beloved son back from his father; her estranged husband.
This author describes the snare vividly, not just dealing with operational aspects of the smuggling process but dealing with Sonja's desperation and determination too. Sonja's life is tangled and complicated. Her son Tomas is living with Adam, her ex husband, who is doing everything he can to make sure that Sonja and Tomas' relationship is not easy.

Also on the scene is Agla; the disgraced banker who is facing prosecution for her part in the downfall of the Icelandic financial sector. She's also the reason that Sonja and Adam are no longer married.

Whilst Snare is just a short book at around 220 pages, I felt as though I had travelled to Iceland many times, I experienced the tension of the customs checks at the airport and the huge relief as Sonja escaped detection, time and time again. It is the fact that as a reader I was backing Sonja all of the way, despite the fact that she was mixed up in highly illegal activities, that proves how well this author can write. She's created a character in Sonja that defies my logic; she's a warm, loving mother who cares for those closest to her, and helps her neighbour, yet she doesn't think twice about allowing an innocent person to take the blame, and a possible jail sentence so that she can escape.

The reader is also treated to the wonderful Bragi. Nearing retirement age, Bragi is a customs officer. He is a beautifully crafted character, with a deep deep sadness that makes him so incredibly realistic. As he sits alongside his wife of over 50 years, who no longer knows him, due to her dementia; and brushes her hair and feeds her porridge, my heart almost broke. Yet he too, has a steely determination that runs through him, and he may have met his match in Sonja.

Snare is incredible. I loved every single page; the setting, the characters and the intricately woven plot. I am delighted that Lilja Sigurdardottir has two more books to come in this fabulous new series.
Has to be in the running for my Top Books of 2017 list. Outstanding. I loved it.

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.

For more information visit
Follow her on Twitter @lilja1972

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