Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Audiobook Review: SNOWBLIND by Ragnar Jonasson

Author: Ragnar Jónasson
Thor Kristjansson
February 2018
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Book Description:

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. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.

My musings:

When Ari Thor Arason takes his first posting as policeman in the remote fishing village in Northern Iceland, he does so with the reassurance: “Nothing ever happens in Siglufjörður.” Nobody even locks their doors here, because it is a small community where everyone knows and trusts each other. So the whole town is rocked to the core when a young woman is found half dead in the snow, brutally attacked and left for dead. As the weather closes in and the last access route to Siglufjörður is blocked by an avalanche, Ari Thor’s sense of claustrophobia and doom mounts. There may be a murderer living amongst them, and there is no way out ....

I’ve been wanting to put Iceland on my armchair travel map for ages, so when another book blogger recommended Snowblind to me, I immediately put it on my TBR list and marked it as the perfect audio book for my daily commute. Cloistered in my car, driving lonely dark country roads, this tense and claustrophobic mystery made the perfect companion! The Dark Iceland series is definitely one I could easily get hooked on, and I especially liked young Ari Thor, the earnest and intelligent police officer who is setting out in his career in this lonely, isolated place far from his family and friends.

Snowblind is a slow burning, character driven mystery that relies heavily on Jonasson’s excellent character development and his ability to create a tense, claustrophobic setting in a wild and isolated place. His portrayal of small town politics and dynamics is well done and lends authenticity to the story. There is nothing better than the tension created by entrapment – this time through forces of nature alone, as the Icelandic winter closes in on this small fishing village. Jonasson’s writing is almost poetic, even though the story fits perfectly into the Nordic Noir genre, with the whodunit atmosphere and careful plotting of an Agatha Christie style murder mystery. Soon all the threads and different POVs fall into place to reveal the bigger picture, even though Ari Thor still has his work cut out to prove his theory.


Snowblind will appeal to readers who love Nordic noir, or just want a cracking good read! Tense, claustrophobic and atmospheric, this is armchair travel of the best kind, even though I’m not sure I would have the nerve to visit Siglufjörður in winter.  This is one of those books that exponentially expanded my alpine TBR list, as I had to add all other works by the author! A big shout out to Thor Kristjansson, whose deep, laid-back voice is perfect for this narration.

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