Author: Ragnar Jónasson
Publisher: Orenda Publishing
Read: March 2021
Expected publication: out now
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Easter weekend is approaching, and
snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as
crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.
Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.
Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…
As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.
Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.
What attracted me to this book:
I love Icelandic crime thrillers, and the Dark Iceland series has been a great joy to read right from the start. I was excited to get back to Siglufjörður and read about Ari Thór Arason’s latest case, which involves the apparent suicide of a nineteen-year-old local girl who jumped to her death from a balcony.
Ari Thór’s estranged partner and son are visiting over Easter, and again he struggles to find time for both family and his job, a battle that is only to real for police or emergency workers, especially in a place as remote as Siglufjörður. I really felt for Ari Thór, who is only too keen to write the girl’s death off as the suicide it appears to be and enjoy spending time with his son, and yet also hears his inner warning bells chime that all is not as it seems.
After travelling to Iceland two years ago, I can vividly picture the small remote town of Siglufjörður, now made slightly more accessible by a new road and tunnel. Jonasson is a master at creating atmosphere and tension through his setting, and this latest instalment in the series is no exception. As the mystery slowly unravels and all its layers are being stripped to reveal the tragic truth, I was thoroughly hooked.
All in all, WINTERKILL is a slow-burning, character driven and highly atmospheric read from a master of Iceland noir. It contains all the elements that make this genre so irresistible for me, and I was hoping for many more books in the series, but found out that this may be the last one. I will miss visiting Siglufjörður! Whilst WINTERKILL can be read as a standalone, I would recommend starting the series from book one, as Ari Thór’s backstory adds a lot of depth to the mystery. Highly recommend the whole series!
Thank you to Edelweiss and Orenda Books for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.