Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir #bookreview #blogtour #orentober @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Betrayal by Lilja Sigurdardóttir on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part. My review also coincides with Orentober created by Kelly and Danielle.

Betrayal by [Lilja Sigurdardóttir, Quentin Bates]

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Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.

But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined. A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And why has the death of her father in police custody so many years earlier reared its head again?

As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witch-like cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

MY THOUGHTS

I was a huge fan of the Reykjavik Noir trilogy by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, so I was really excited to see what she was planning to write next. In Betrayal, Úrsula has just accepted a high profile role in government and hopes to make positive changes in the law to help benefit asylum seekers in Iceland. It is a cause she is hugely passionate about and has spent much of her time abroad helping vulnerable people. Úrsula also promises to help a mother, whose daughter was raped by a police officer. Because of his position, the case was allowed to be brushed under the carpet. The girl’s mother has been fighting for justice ever since. But as Úrsula gets involved in the murky world of politics, she soon begins to realise how dangerous the world she has stepped foot it in is.

What Betrayal does, as has all of Lilja Sigurðardóttir books, is that it captures your interest right from the first page and Lilja’s writing makes it very hard to put down. It has made her one of my favourite writers, and I bumped this book right to the top of my TBR pile. The chapters are short and snappy, and it’s the kind of book where you’ll think, I’ll just read one more when you get to the end of one. Before you know it, you’ve devoured the entire novel.

I really liked Úrsula. You can see how passionate she is about the causes that she believes in and how she is determined to make positive changes. But politics is a dangerous business. Úrsula soon finds that out when it appears that someone is stalking her. Just as she is determined to bring about change, there are people out there who are committed to making sure that she fails. There is also a vulnerable side to her, which made her feel very human. She has struggled recently to bond with her family and finds that she loves her dog more than she loves her husband.

Another character who I liked was Stella. Stella works at the ministry as a cleaner and is often in close proximity to Úrsula. Stella soon seizes an opportunity when a journalist offers her money to steal from Úrsula’s rubbish. Lilja Sigurðardóttir does a brilliant job here of raising the tension. Although Stella was making the wrong decisions, I did feel her, but I kept thinking that at any moment she was going to be discovered. I did think though if she spoke to Úrsula more then Úrsula would try to help her and would understand more than most the position Stella is in.

The plot races ahead and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. A lot starts to happen, especially when Úrsula starts to receive threats, which puts her family’s security at risk. This is where the character Gunnar comes in, who takes on the role of her driver and bodyguard. Again, he is a character committed to his job, and he is more than willing to put himself in harm’s way to protect Úrsula.

The plot of Betrayal is exciting and fast-paced. I became totally immersed in the story, which has been expertly translated by Quentin Bates. With a cast of highly intriguing characters, this is a book I’d highly recommend.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 1st July 2020 (kindle) 1st October 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 276 pages

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Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir #bookreview blog tour @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

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Drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

MY THOUGHTS

Cage is the third and final book in the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy by Lilja Sigurdardottir and another superb translation by Quentin Bates. It is a satisfying end to a series of books which I have really grown to enjoy. It’s been fascinating getting to know Agla throughout the three books, and I feel sad that this will be the last book to feature her. I do think though that it is a good place to end the series.

This time around the tables have turned for Agla. Currently Agla is in prison. She has also lost touch with her lover, Sonja who appears to have abandoned her.

While Agla is in prison, she is approached by investigative journalist, Marie, who is from a local paper called, The Squirrel. Marie was once Agla’s nemesis, but she is now seeking her help to investigate a company called, Meteorite, who are exporting aluminium out of Iceland. Marie is convinced something dodgy is going on here. As she gets closer to what is going on behind the scenes, Marie closes in on some very dangerous people. These people would wish to see her harmed if she ever got to the truth, but she is determined to expose them.

What this series highlights so well, is what can go on inside powerful groups, people who are involved in business deals and exporting vast sums of money out of the country. This is something which isn’t outside the realms of possibility. There is a terrifying world out there which ordinary people can become so easily swept up in, and this is what initially happened to Agla. This is why she is in this position today.

Agla seems to be a lot more detached in this book than she was in the previous books in the series. You can feel that the doors have closed on her and that she is now firmly trapped. She seems to have accepted her fate and is keen to do her time and then try to build a new life.

I think one of the things I missed in this book was her relationship with her son, Tomas, which Lilja previously built on so well. I did also miss her relationship with Sonja, and I felt sorry for Agla that she no longer could share her company. We do still see Sonja in Cage, but it isn’t quite in the same way.

The novel races towards a heart-pounding climax as everything comes to a head for Lilja’s characters. Lilja’s writing will have you furiously turning those pages.

This has been a brilliant series to follow, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what Lilja Sigurdardottir writes next. Chilling and totally gripping right the way through, this is a series of books you need to read if you haven’t done so already.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 17th October 2019

Print length: 276 pages

If you would like to purchase Cage, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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Trap by Lilja Sigurdardottir blog tour @lilja1972 @OrendaBooks

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Source: Review Copy

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Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Trap is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

MY THOUGHTS

I turned the pages at breakneck speed reading Trap. Having read and enjoyed Snare, the first book in the series last year, I couldn’t wait to see how the series would follow on, and Lilja Sigurdardóttir has created a tense, action packed read that will keep readers enthralled. Once again the reader is taken into a corrupt world of bankers, money laundering, drug dealers and drug mules. If you’re looking for a unique crime series, that has fascinating characters, then I definitely recommend both of Lilja’s books, and the good news is, is that there will be another book to follow.

From the first page, we are thrown into Sonja’s chaotic new world, and Lilja wastes no time in ratcheting up the tension. Sonja has escaped to Florida with her son, Tomas, in her bid to keep him away from his father who currently has full custody. And Tomas’s father is soon hot on their tales, making Sonja’s new life very dangerous.

We also meet up with Sonja’s lover, Agla, back in Iceland, who is being investigated for money laundering after the aftermath of the financial crash. And still, Agla is getting involved in tricky situations to help pay the debt that she owes. But Agla and Sonja’s relationship isn’t quite what it is in the first book, and there is tension between them.

You strongly get the sense that Sonja is trapped in the world that she has become a part of and that it will be very difficult for her to get out. This is what makes Trap such an exhilarating read as Sonja is never sure what’s going to be around the corner for her next. She is desperate to go back to her normal life. What comes across so strongly in this book is her love for her son. This is what makes Sonja so engaging as she will do anything to have her son living with her full time, but this is what also makes her vulnerable to the people who will try to use her.

This was a book I was totally gripped by. It is a well researched and an original thriller that will keep you reading. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 30th August 2018

Print length: 250 pages

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