ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



May 2020



Snare by Lilja Sigurðardóttir

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Those who enjoy crime novels of the Icelandic variety. Those who appreciate when the main character is both a) not a man and b) not straight.

In a nutshell:
Sonja is divorced and lost custody of her son. To get by, she smuggles cocaine. (That’s right, the cocaine smuggling came after losing her son.) She has a relationship with Agla, who is being pursued for her role in the Iceland financial collapse. Sonja wants out, and she wants to regain custody of her son.

Worth quoting:
“It was as if the apartments that were empty for too long acquired a deep sadness.”

Why I chose it:
I wanted some fiction, this was the start of a trilogy, and the author was listed in an article that included Ragnar Jonasson, who wrote the Dark Iceland series I enjoyed.

I new from the second chapter that I was definitely into this book, because chapter two was from a different character’s perspective. While the book doesn’t skip about in time, it does skip from character to character, which I love. I like seeing many of the pieces, though not all of them. It makes any eventual twists less shocking and more ‘oh yeah, that makes sense.’

The chapters in this book are short – some only three or four paragraphs – and the book reads quickly. The characters are at times a bit flat, but it’s a series so I’m hoping for a bit more in books two and three. I appreciate that the main love interest for Sonja is a woman, and that the woman she is interested in struggles with having feelings for another woman.

As for the crime aspect – it’s not so much a mystery (which is what I was initially hoping for) as a thriller. Unlike the Dark Iceland series, we’re not wondering who the murderer is. Instead, we’re with the criminal — Sonja — wondering how she ‘s going to get out of the mess she’s in. It also means people with different perspectives might find themselves rooting for different characters. Do you hope Sonja gets away with it, because you can see she’s a good parent for her child, and she just wants to get out of the whole system? Do you hope that the customs agent stops her because who knows who is getting rich off the drugs she is bringing in? Are you just generally annoyed that drugs are illegal, creating this weird smuggling system?

I read this book in 24 hours, starting it before bed on a weekend and finishing it after work the next day. I already have the second book and will be starting it after work today.

Keep it / Pass to a Friend / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it (I don’t tend to re-read fiction)

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