Hi and welcome to a new of Series in the Spotlight! Today, I have for you a fabulous series from Orenda Books: the Reykjavík Noir Trilogy by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates. Be sure to check out the INTERNATIONAL giveaway at the end of the post!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this series. I read Snare and Trap in quick succession, flying through them both, and then I had to wait a few weeks for Cage’s publication day and it was hell! I have zero patience, especially where books are concerned, especially when the next installment of a series is due to arrive, especially when said next installment is the final installment of a series I adore! And breathe.
Please take a moment to fully take in these covers. They tell you everything you need to know at a glance: the Reykjavik Noir trilogy is taut and to the point, it does not mess around, it does not waste words, it has a lot of air travel, it’s about being ensnared, trapped, caged, and the road to freedom.
Short and snappy chapters tell us the story of Sonja, a petite, single mother, who also happens to be a drug mule. When we meet Sonja in Snare, she feels exactly that: ensnared. Things started going downhill a while before Snare starts: Sonja’s husband caught her red-handed. In bed. With her lover. Who happened to be a woman. And a colleague of the hubby. Divorce wasn’t cheap, and neither was her attorney. And Sonja needed money so she could get custody of her little boy. When her attorney suggested she could do some courier work for him, she happily accepted. Even when the goods to be couriered turned out to bricks of cocaine that she has to pick up in all kinds of unsavoury places from all kinds of unsavoury people, and worst of all, has to deliver to the most unsavoury person of them all. This is where Sonja is at, at the beginning of the series. Like a rabbit in a snare, the more she struggles to leave the criminal part of her life behind, the more the snare closes and there are powers at work that Sonja has no clue about.
I was rooting for Sonja throughout. She has become one of my favourite Orenda female protagonists, and that is saying something! She’s the kind of kick-ass heroine that I love to read about. Propelled by the love for her son (a delightful little boy who stole my heart in 2 seconds flat), she is prepared to face anything, do anything, become anyone, this ordinary woman who is now trapped in an episode of Narcos. I hung on Lilja’s every word and I cannot thank Quentin Bates enough for the no doubt excellent translation from Icelandic into English.
Brilliant as it is, the drug smuggling is not the only fascinating storyline in this trilogy. Lilja also tells us a little something about the financial crisis in Iceland, mainly through Agla, Sonja’s lover. Agla is struggling. Not only is she being investigated by the authorities for shady dealings in the financial world, she also can’t wrap her head around her feelings for Sonja, and she keeps fighting them. It’s pretty clear though that they could be really good together if she’d give them half a chance. I found them so cute together, and I kept hoping for a happily ever after. Incidentally, the financial crisis is not the only cultural reference. Lilja packs quite a lot of information and little Icelandic titbits into the narrative, like the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull (just don’t ask me to pronounce it ?) disrupting Sonja’s flights, or the fact that Icelandic supermarkets are not allowed the sell booze, or that there are no ants in Iceland. I LIVE for tidbits like these!
The third and last installment differs from the first two in that it takes a step back from Sonja, and focuses more on Agla. I have to admit, I did miss Sonja, but there are so many other things going on that I wanted to get to the bottom of, that I didn’t have time to dwell on that. Cage is an excellent and satisfying conclusion to an excellent series that was allowed to run its course in what feels like a very organic way. There was no jumping to conclusions, no quick fixes, and still everything got wrapped up nicely and there was closure. (But if you’re asking me if I’d like more Sonja after all this, I will tell you: hell yes!)
Overall, an excellent crime trilogy that I’d happily recommend to anyone and everyone and their dog!
Get the eBooks directly from the Orenda Books eBookstore and / or enter our INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY!! It is my absolute honour to host the most generous giveaway, courtesy of Orenda Books, who will be sending out a paperback copy of Snare, Trap and Cage (in other words: the entire trilogy) to not one, not two, but three (yes THREE!) lucky winners anywhere in the world!
How to win:
* Come find me on Twitter (I’m here)
* Retweet my tweet announcing this giveaway
* Tag two friends
* Follow me and @OrendaBooks
This giveaway will end at midnight (Belgian time) on 30 October so I can announce the three winners in my closing thoughts post on the 31st. (I will notify you on Twitter as well, no worries!)
GOOD LUCK ?