Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir (translated by Quentin Bates) #BookReview #BlogTour

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.

It's my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir along with the lovely Emma Louise over at Emma's Bookish Corner. Many thanks to the author, Orenda Books and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my digital copy of the book.

I have been looking forward to finding out what lies in store for Sonja and Agla after reading Snare last year. The short answer is much of the same - Sonja might have thought she'd escaped the snare that saw her forced to smuggle cocaine in a bid to regain control of her life and custody of her son, Tomas but she very quickly learns that freedom is elusive and she is still trapped. She may have Bragi on her side but she has made some dangerous enemies and will be forced to come face to face with a terrifying figure from her past and her naivety still sees her caught out on more than one occasion. Meanwhile, Agla could also be in a desperate situation if she can't figure out a way to repay the money she borrowed before the banking crash. However, she has become a far more proactive character than she was in Snare and though she still becomes needy and demanding when she is drunk, she seems to thrive on the adrenaline as she puts her risky schemes into action. Although Trap could be read as a standalone, it is a sequel and as such, I would strongly recommend reading Snare first.
Trap isn't the book for anybody who insists on likeable protagonists and I had conflicting feelings about both Sonja and Agla. I had a great deal of sympathy for Sonja when it came to her estrangement from Tomas thanks to her thoroughly unpleasant ex-husband but I found her quite cruel towards Agla at times. Agla loves Sonja but is also addicted to the thrill of her dodgy deals and is motivated by competition rather than greed. She is blasé about the risks she takes, convinced the authorities will never discover the true extent of her financial crimes. Bragi is still my favourite character and he has plenty of scenes again although I would have liked to have seen even more of him because the juxtaposition between his long career as a customs officer apprehending drug smugglers and his need to raise money in order to pay for care for his wife is so compelling. One of the more tense moments in the story comes when Bragi is involved and I found I was always looking forward to his next scene. I also loved Tomas again and felt Lilja Sigurdardóttir captured the voice of a young boy caught between his warring parents so well.
The convoluted plot switches between characters and Lilja Sigurdardóttir frequently teases the reader by increasing the tension and then leaving the scene to follow a different person. This very cleverly meant I couldn't put the book down as I needed to read on if I wanted to find out what happened! Most of the crime novels I read are about murders or violent crimes and although both occur in Trap, it's so refreshing to read a thriller which explores different criminal activities. Drug smuggling and money laundering both have far-reaching effects throughout the world of course and almost certainly influence our lives more than most crimes. I must extend my thanks here to Quentin Bates for his superb translation of the book for English readers. Trap is complex and surprisingly witty and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lilja Sigurdardóttir's intelligent and original novel.

Trap is published by Orenda Books and buying links can be found here. Don't forget to check out some of the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
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. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
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  1. Huge thanks for this fabulous Blog Tour support Karen x


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