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Archive for the ‘Icelandic Noir’ Category

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** My thanks to the wonderful Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

My Thoughts & Review:

For fans of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series a huge sigh of relief can be breathed, the next instalment has landed!

Whiteout sees readers reunited with Ari Thór who is investigating the case of a young woman found dead at the bottom of the cliffs in Kálfshamarvík, a deserted village.  He and Tómas have their work cut out for them with a tight time frame to solve this one, but when they discover that the young woman’s mother and young sister died at the same spot some years ago the investigation becomes as dark and chilling as an Icelandic winter.
The plot also has a wonderful strand relating to the personal lives of Ari, Tómas and Ari’s girlfriend Kristen.  Kristen is heavily pregnant and ends up agreeing to join Ari and Tómas on their trip to Kálfshamarvík, using the time to research her family history.

If you are new to the Dark Island series, I would thoroughly recommend going back and reading the books in order, this will build up a better picture of Ari Thór and give you a wonderful grounding of the skill of Ragnar Jónasson.  He incorporates the eeriness of the setting perfectly into the plot of his novels leaving a reader feeling chilled and wrapped up in the darkness.  I love the way that this feels more like an old fashioned investigation story, relying on intuition and investigative techniques, and it feels like an exercise in mental capabilities trying to puzzle the mystery together with Ari.

There is so much more to this novel than I first expected and I truly am glad.  The character development was superb, it was good to see more about the personalities and  felt that I learned more about Ari and Kristen in Whiteout.  The other characters in this were equally interesting in their own way, some that readers can empathise with and feel invested in, but equally there were ones that you could not help but loathe.

As always, the wonderful scenery that is described in Ragnar’s books really sets the scene and tone for the novel.  I’ve never been to Iceland, and only ever googled images but from what I’ve read in the series it feels like I’ve trudged through the snow, battled biting winds and been lost in the dark of Iceland on several occasions.  The imagery that the writing conjures is so powerful and intense.  The narrative holds your attention perfectly and draws you in slowly making this a superb read!

A thank you to Quentin Bates for this wonderful translation, it’s always a joy when you see him listed as the translator of a book as you know that he will have ensured that the English version of a book will read as though it were the original.

 

You can buy a copy of Whiteout via:

Orenda Books eBookstore
Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

 

About the Author

Ragnar_Photo_TwoRagnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 18 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

Follow Ragnar on Twitter and his website.

Follow the blog tour:

WOBTP

 

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It’s a great delight to welcome you to my stop on Ragnar Jónasson’s blog tour for his latest Icelandic thriller “Rupture” and share my review of this immensely amazing novel.

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eBook Published: 24 December 2016
Print Book Published: 15 February 2017
Reviewed: 23 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

 

Description:

1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all … In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them. Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers.

My Thoughts & Review:

I think it’s safe to say that Ragnar Jónasson is a writer who can do no wrong in the eyes of many readers, this one included.
He writes some of the most poetically haunting scenes in his novels with the use of very few words, and yet evokes a great sense of chilling unease from his readers in doing so.  Never before have I read a book that has left me feeling the need to find a thick pullover and a hot water bottle purely because of the way in which a scene is described.  The chilly tendrils of suspense leech from the pages of this book, slowly weaving their way around a reader until it gets to the point that you are victim to this masterfully written thriller, the outside world ceases while you are wrapped up in this.

With numerous threads running through the plot a reader might be concerned about trying to keep track of what is happening but fear not, each thread is succinctly interwoven with the next, coming together to form an immensely clever plot, one that keeps readers guessing and keeps the pace steady.  Although this is the fourth book to feature Ari Thór, it reads well without having read the previous books (Snowblind, Nightblind and Blackout), but I would wholeheartedly recommend reading all of them to immense yourself in this wonderful atmospheric delight.
There’s a sense of danger that lies early on in the plot, that gives rise to a feeling of unease, a foreboding that builds to an uncomfortable claustrophobia which just makes this all the more gripping and enjoyable to read.

I’m desperately trying not to say too much about the plot of this one, there are so many subtle aspects that give things away or may skew your thinking but suffice to say this is definitely a contender for book of the year.  The writing is clever, clear and precise.  Short chapters ensure the pace moves along swiftly without anything superfluous added in for theatrical flair, just the sort of deliciously perplexing read that we have come to know and love from Ragnar Jónasson.

A special note to say a huge hat tip to Quentin Bates, the translator of this magnificent novel, his skills are truly brilliant and has translated this so well that it reads naturally as if it were originally penned in English, losing nothing of the subtle nuances or atmosphere.

My absolute heartfelt gratitude to Karen at Orenda Books for sharing this wonderful series with me and having me be part of the blog tour for Ragnar’s latest book.

You can buy a copy of Rupture via Amazon here.

About the Author:

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Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015, with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner, and had rights sold in fourteen countries. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for guest posts, reviews and perhaps a cheeky giveaway!
 

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Thin Ice

Author: Quentin Bates
Published: 3 March 2016
Reviewed: 30 April 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group in return for an honest review

  4.5 out of 5 Stars

 



Description:  


Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter…

When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik’s premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.

Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.

Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages…

You can buy a copy of Thin Ice (Gunnhildur Mystery) here.

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