Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him. The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman – shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik, where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all.
First of all I’ll start by saying Ragnar Jonasson is an insanely good writer. I read a lot of books. And this guy is good. Insanely.
Snowblind was a marvel of a novel so it is extraordinarily impressive that Nightblind could be said to be better. Set a few years after the events in Snowblind, we find our hero Ari Thor Arson still in Siglufjordur – where the murder of a policeman is about to send him down a dark path once more..
Really its blinking marvellous. Icelandic noir with an absolute touch of class, the atmospheric and beautiful narrative touch brought to the characterisation and plotting is a joy to behold – better still it completely sucks you in. A masterclass in tension building, ramping up the pressure and the claustrophobic nature of the setting – descriptively speaking I love the way Ragnar Jonasson can just make you see everything unfolding, feel the chill, experience the silent haunting nature of the place.
The mystery unravels in a gentle, cleverly distinct style – shades of Christie here for sure, compelling and often surprising – a past/present collision that will keep you turning those pages avidly. All night. Then you’ll be stumbling to work in a bit of a fog still with one foot half in Siglufjordur. What just me? Oh I don’t think it will be you know…
And so we come back full circle to insanely good….
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Happy Reading Folks!