Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir is a crime thriller, published by Orenda Books. With a quote by Val McDermid, I knew I was in for a treat! Told in multiple points of view, it’s an easy read with complex underpinnings that give the book that extra oomph!
About the book
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.
As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.
Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.
With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy.
Series: Reykjavik Noir trilogy
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (April 1, 2020)
Agla is restless and sitting out a sentence for financial crimes. Unable to get over why her girlfriend Sonja left her, life on the inside offers plenty of distractions. An Islandic smelter scheme for one. With Maria nosing around on the outside, Agla soon realises she gets the information she’s looking for and Maria gets one hell of a scoop.
Agla comes across as brusque and rigid. With her history in an unforgiving financial environment, you can’t expect her to be anything else. Her kindness to pill-popping Elísa builds as the relationship deepens but life outside comes at a cost. Breaching probation conditions for one.
María Gunnhildur Jónudóttir, who was a former investigator at the special prosecutor’s office where Agla Margeirsdóttir had been a person of interest, now runs an online news outlet. But when she goes to see Agla in prison to ask about her links to Ingimar Magnússon and William Tedd — the Paris-based markets guru — she is denied visitation. But she doesn’t have to wait long. With the tenacity of a bloodhound, she is determined to get to the bottom of a conspiracy where a few greedy men could push their profit margins through the roof. But this settling of scores is detrimental.
Ingimar Magnússon, closely connected to Iceland’s business and politics, likes to play dangerous games. With a natural cold, ruthless streak, he’s rather good at it. He’s also good at infringing international regulations while staying just within the legal limits. Dirty tricks, blackmail and willing to hold a gun at anyone who stands in his way, this is a man you’d want Agla and María to steer well clear of.
And then we have Anton, a creative and dynamic individual, who has a project simmering in the cellar. Too much listening to Radio Edda makes him feel it’s time for action. If he takes matters into his own hands, his plan could blow a hole in the stratosphere. But will such a rash decision be a hit with his beloved Júlía? I have to say I was floored by the outcome.
Including Sonja, all of these people are in a cage of their own making, and each with their own axe to grind. The chapters are compact and the pace, even when weaving from character to character, is rapid and full of intrigue. You can’t get enough. It’s one of those books that if you have to put down, you’ll still have each scene fresh in your mind, frantic to know what happens next. When all stories converge, it’s a thrill to learn who belongs where and how their lives might or might not be intertwined. About three quarters of the way through, I guessed a small portion of how the ending might play out. But certainly not all.
All in all, I gave it five big fat stars. The story-line shifted effortlessly between each point of view and spun a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. Flawlessly paced and painfully gripping.
A map: Found in the front matter to show us the region and setting. Major plus!
Book cover: One that will definitely stand out on bookshelves.
Writing style: Relaxed and comfortable, with visceral descriptions.
About the Author
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning playwright who has written four crime novels. The previous titles in the Reykjavik Noir series are Snare and Trap, which was a Guardian Book of the Year. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures. Quentin Bates is the author of a series of Icelandic crime novels that include Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.