Friday, 29 May 2015

Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson - BLOG TOUR

I am delighted to be today's stop on the BLOG TOUR for Ragnar Jónasson's Snowblind, which is being published in paperback edition on 15 June 2015 by Orenda Books.

By Ragnar Jónasson
Published by Orenda Books (E-book - 20 April 2015, Paperback - 15 June 2015)
ISBN: 978-1-910633038

Publisher's description
Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors - accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.
Ari Thor 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 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 deeper into his own darkness - blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.

My verdict
Snowblind is a literary whodunnit. Based in a remote Icelandic town, set against beautiful snow-covered peaks, this is an atmospheric chilling novel.

The town of Siglufjörður is remote at the best of times and becomes virtually isolated during the winter months. Nothing much usually happens in this small community, so none of the locals are suspicious when a tragic fatal accident occurs. But rookie detective Ari Thor, fresh from police training in Reykjavik, has a hunch that something is amiss. When a woman is found unconscious in the snow, there are two cases for him to solve. There are also snowstorms and avalanches for him to contend with, as well as relationship dilemmas.

This is a gentle slow-burning novel, with no graphic violence or big action scenes, and it kept me intrigued all the way through thanks to the sheer magic of its writing. There are beautiful descriptions of a harsh environment, stunning surroundings and a whole host of fascinating characters. There's certainly plenty there to make the reader fall in love with Iceland - and maybe with Ari Thor as well.

This is an excellent debut novel, with several twists and turns, and has been well translated by Quentin Bates. To me, it was like reading a modern-day Icelandic Agatha Christie novel. I look forward to reading meeting Ari Thor again soon.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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