Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir translated by Quentin Bates ** Blog Tour Review **
Once in a while you read a book which blows you away and Snare has to be one of those books. I am so delighted to be on the Blog Tour today and to be able to talk about this great piece of Reykjavik Noir by Lilja Sigurdardottir. First though, here's a little about the story:
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonja is struggling to provide for herself and win sole 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 by the fact that Sonja is in 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 Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a nail-bitingly 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.
One of the difficulties for me in writing this is how to do it without totally gushing and fan-girling the book. The thing is, I was totally hooked from the start. Referencing actual events in near history like the Icelandic financial crash and the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption adds to the authenticity so that you are able to completely believe in Sonja's plight. What a plight it is. Caught in the machinations of ruthless drug dealers and criminals, she never loses her poise or ability to think her way out of a situation. You are able to sympathise with her despite her actions, partly because you can see what motivates her to keep going and also because you are given such insight into her self-awareness.
The plot is beautifully constructed, with different strands which slowly but seamlessly dovetail into one satisfying whole. The supporting characters are just as nuanced. None of them are quite what they seem. Everyone is hiding in plain sight. That's quite a feat for a writer to pull off but Lilja does just that. I can understand why the film rights have been sold as it is one of those books which you can visualise as you read it. The first of a Reykjavik Noir Trilogy, I can't wait for the next in the series.
In short: Just read it!
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. Translation rights have been sold in eight countries to date, and 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.
Book links: Amazon UK
Thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour.
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