What Lilja does so well in her writing is tell an exciting, terrifyingly realistic human story through a multiplicity of female characters. The story is revealed through the roles of women; lover, hard worker, caring mother, controlling mother, scared wife, dying wife, alpha female and totally mental double-crossing psychopathic control freak. I can’t recall another book that I have read recently that gives the reader so many facets of women to explore through however there were many similar roles in the recent series of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Trap continues the story of Sonja from the first book in the series Snare. Agla – her lover – is also still around as well as most of the other characters and in this book we get to know some of them a bit better. The book starts with Sonja and her son on the run but certain events lead to her being back where she started from, Iceland, working as a drug smuggler.
So many obstacles are put in Sonja’s way by various people and she deals with them all in her own fashion whilst never losing sight of her son’s needs and her desire to have a normal life with him. This dream is hanging by a thread as Sonja gets manipulated by others and forced into a corner. This particular part of the story however endears the reader to Sonja as we are left in no doubt as to her goal in life.
Introduced in Snare and developed further in Trap the financial crash element of the story are told through Agla and her international money movement shenanigans. This particular part of the story is quite interesting and if you enjoy shows such as the Danish TV drama Follow the Money where lending, investments and bank practices are portrayed then you will enjoy this too.
Everything I said in my review of Snare applies to Trap as well. Trap is not a story where the physical landscape really plays a part (although we do get a great description of a trip to Greenland in this one), it is however a fast paced read and well-balanced between action and emotion. What Trap does is develop the horror of this world. Where Snare explored risk Trap explores power, power over people and their actions and power over money.
Usually I’m not one to say you have to read a series in order however with these books I do feel that the reader would benefit from starting at the beginning and watching the characters and the story unfold as the author tells the tale. This is particularly the case with Agla and the financial manipulation story which is quite complex. The third and final part of the story will be told in Cage which will be released in English in 2019. Cage will jump forward in time and we will find out about the characters in the present day and read about how their situations have influenced their lives. I can’t wait!
You can see/read more about Lilja here, here and here. Lilja recently appeared at Granite Noir, Newcastle Noir, Bloody Scotland in Stirling and at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is scheduled to take part in Iceland Noir in November and Rotorua Noir in January 2019 (alongside another Nordic favourite Kati Hiekkapelto from Finland). If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Trap we have one to giveaway. Please like and share our post on social media and leave a comment below telling us why you deserve a copy.