Author: Ragnar Jónasson
Genre: Mystery thriller
Format: Paperback 300 pages
Release Date: 15 June 2015
Publisher: Orenda Books
I bought this book after reading a review by a fellow blogger. I’ve read a lot of Orenda Book’s recent publications so I was intrigued to see what some of their back collection featured. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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.
Ari Thór is living in Reykjavik with his girlfriend and seems to be a little bit lost and unsure which direction he wants to take his life in. He has started and failed to finish various university courses and finally decided that maybe a career in the police force is the route for him. Just when he least expects it he gets a call and is offered a posting in a small remote village in the North of Iceland.
The village Ari Thór finds himself posted to was the perfect setting for this book. Imagine a village hemmed in all sides by snow capped mountains and where there is only one main road in and out. A village where everyone knows everyone, and there’s not many outsiders. I felt slightly claustrophobic reading about the isolation of this village. When it snows the village becomes cut off from the rest of Iceland and you get that feeling that anything could happen and you’ve got nowhere to run to.
Ari Thór himself is quite a likeable character. He’s got his flaws but I liked him more for them. I’m glad to see this is the first in a series because this is a character I would like to follow and Ari Thór’s character and the setting alone would give me pause to buy the next book.
I wouldn’t necessarily describe this book as fast paced but it’s not short of drama either. The magic of this book for me was the setting and the authors descriptions of it. If you’re in the mood for something ‘chilling’ then this may be your next read.
About the Author
Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer and teaches copyright law at Reykjavík University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, from the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie’s novels. He is an international Number One bestseller.
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