Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson

a-0What I thought:

On Christmas Eve my Twitter feed was filling up with tweets about a new book called Rupture coming that had come out that day to coincide with Iceland’s Jólabókaflóðið  (which literally means The Book Flood of Iceland – look it up and then you will know why I want to move there…). I was intrigued as I hadn’t heard of this author before so I took to Amazon to check him out and there waiting for me was my best possible Christmas present – reduced price books. His back catalogue of the first 3 books in the Dark Iceland series was 99p each. I clicked. I downloaded. I patted myself on the back.

Anyway, on to Snowblind. This is the first in the series and we are introduced to Ari Thór, a young, rookie Policeman from Reykjavik who takes a post in the remote town of far north of Iceland called Siglufjörður where “nothing ever happens”. Ari arrives in the dead of winter and despite knowing snow well, he has never experienced anything like this before and Jónasson does a really great job of showing the claustrophobia he felt by the relentless weather: avalanches blocking all routes out, never-ending blizzards, white-outs. I have been to Iceland before but only to Reykjavik (where it snowed. A lot!) and I have also been to Tromso in the arctic circle in Norway (where it snowed. A lot!) so I had an idea in my head of what I thought the town would look like and feel like in all that snow which gave the book extra depth.

There are actually two mysteries in this book, and Ari has his work cut out a) trying to decide if they are linked and b) convincing his superior that there may be foul play because “nothing ever happens” there. A death (accident or murder?) at the local Am Dram group and what looks like an attempted murder of a young girl who is left looking like a snow angel in her garden with a halo of red around her head, seeping into the snow. There was also a third mystery that was threaded intermittently during the first part of the book and which I had completely forgotten about until it showed up again at the end and took me completely by surprise.

Many reviews talked about there being a nod to Agatha Christie and I can definitely see that. A cast of several, all with opportunity and all with something to hide.

Verdict:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written in a simple but effective way: with no unnecessary padding. I have read that many of the same characters will appear in the follow-up books which I am really looking forward to reading (I love series for this very reason – it’s like catching up with old friends).

I can highly recommend this book and if you hurry, it’s still on Amazon for 99p.

Have you read this yet? Please do leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think.

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