Today I’m taking you to Siglufjörður in Northern Iceland and telling you about Snowblind – one of the stand out books for me this year as part of The Book Trail’s advent calender tour ( https://thebooktrail.wordpress.com/ ) you can see my original review below…
Now I don’t know much about Iceland, but having read this and heard Ragnar talking about it I definitely want to go, it sounds purely beautiful and I’ve seen pictures shared that just made me immediately put it on my bucket list. Yes I have one of those. Don’t you?
Anyway here is what I said about Snowblind and whilst this may not be exactly Christmassy the chilly nature and shivery effect of the storytelling here is surely appropriate to the time of year – and trust me if you decide to read Snowblind this holiday season you will certainly be of good cheer. Because it’s pure reading gold.
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.
Snowblind is one of the most beautifully written crime novels I have ever come across – the depth of character, the truly gorgeous descriptive prose that puts you right on the spot – despite the claustrophobic quality of the world that Ari finds himself in I fell utterly in love with Iceland simply through the words on the page.
Story is everything though really, no matter the book you are reading – and Ragnar Jonasson has written one hell of a story – dark, unrelenting in places, magically constructed to ramp up the tension, all the while keeping it completely character driven and authentic.
I adored Ari as a character. He is so beautifully normal yet full of depth, depicted in a way that just keeps you with him all the way. I loved how he was dropped into this small tightly knit community, leaving his girlfriend behind (that relationship was very compelling) and slowly realised how isolated it and he could be. The author gives a perfect sense of a place where everyone knows everyone else and yet somehow secrets are still buried just beneath the surface, it was endlessly fascinating. I think I would have been fascinated even without the crime element.
The mystery is the icing on the cake really – and I don’t want to give anything away but it is truly compelling, very unexpected at times and cleverly done.
Overall this was a marvel of a read. I adored it with the true passion of a reader – it has everything you could possibly want if you want to be engaged, slightly haunted, completely entertained and I really cannot recommend it highly enough. 5 big shiny stars and some puppies for this one. Heavenly writing, stonking good story and characters that will stay with you long after putting it aside.
And follow Ragnar on Twitter here (which you may want to do as he’s fabulous): https://twitter.com/ragnarjo
Follow the Advent Blog Tour to visit some other marvellous places and please everyone have a FANTASTIC Christmas!
Happy Reading Folks!