This book is a tense tale of risk, deception, smuggling and love. Sonja has found herself in a situation where she is forced to smuggle cocaine whilst attempting to maintain relationships with the people in her life and slowly developing a plan to escape her situation. Sonja’s lover Agla is currently being prosecuted for her part in the Icelandic financial crash meanwhile Bragi, a customs officer is dealing with his own nightmare and develops a strong suspicion of Sonja as he watches her pass through customs regularly.
This is the first book I have have read about smuggling or a financial crash. The detail in the story about drug dealers, smuggling and financial crime was interesting and believable. Where the author really shows her skill was in the exploration of the relationships in the story. The passages written from Sonja’s young son’s point of view feel very real; touching, emotional and innocent. The feelings Agla has about alcohol, Sonja and her role in the financial industry are well described. Bragi deals with ageing, loneliness and his wife’s illness. The severe Icelandic climate is not really a factor in this book. There is snow but the climate and landscape do not feature as heavily as in Ragnar Jonasson or Arnaldur Indridason books.
The pace of this book was fast. The chapters are short making it excellent bedtime reading. There is a good balance between action and emotion and the story has a few surprising twists which ramp up the tension. The overall theme is risk. Each character is dealing with it and experiences how risk shapes their life. It is daring storytelling with a fresh feel to it. Reading this book is a risk worth taking.