Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. Taut and terrifying,
Classic mystery feel with a solid narrative, remove the mystery, thriller, suspense elements and you have a plot still keeping your interest a must for this reader, when combined you have a fantastic union. Great characters, enough threads of backstory’s and subplots. Ari Thór Arason sparked my interest, lots to build upon his character, loads of potential, looking forward to seeing how his personal and professional life pans out. The small hamlet where nothing ever happens leads to tension and guessing when a crime hits, secrets unraveled, no one is immune to suspicion, marvelous depiction of everyone knows everyone along with their business mentality. As the story’s layers are slowly peeled away clues fall together providing a satisfactory ending. I had no idea of the culprit until it became obvious with great calculated skill. Low on graphic gore which I prefer, heavy on mystery penned with a lovely contemporary literary feel. Excellent translation, Quentin Bates outdoes himself.
About Ragnar Jónasson
Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavik in 1976, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavik University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavik, and is co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir, selected by the Guardian as one of the ‘best crime-writing festivals around the world’. Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, and he is currently working on his sixth. He lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters. Nightblind will be published by Orenda Books in 2016.
Published April 20th 2015 by ORENDA BOOKS (first published 2010)