The Dark Iceland Series by Ragnor Jonasson . Books 1 & 2

Snow Blind

This has to be one of my favourite books of last year (2020). I had some really good reads last year, and this one is up there.

Ari Thor Arason has just taken a posting up in Siglufjodur as his first job as a fully trained police officer. It’s a small cut off fishing village in Northern Iceland, where everyone knows everyone else, NOTHING ever happens, and if you’re not from the village you are an outsider to be wary of.

So Ari Thor finds himself in an interesting position when a suspicious death and a deadly assault happen in quick succession just after he arrives. (Actually, just thought, why did no one suspect Ari Thor? The assaults happened after he got there!?) 🙂 Then there is an avalanche that cuts off the village from the rest of the country.

We follow Ari Thor’s investigation to get to the bottom of the cases, whilst he deals with his increasing discomfort at the claustrophobic surroundings and also being away from his long term girlfriend back in Rekjavik.

There is snow, snow and snow galore, and Ari Thor can’t handle it. It feels strangling to him. It’s dark and close and he doesn’t know how he is going to live with it. So he is sleep deprived and having mental health issues, and he still has to catch a bad guy. I liked him. He was loyal* and hardworking, and seemed really real.

You can feel the atmosphere in this book as though you are there. I got chills while reading it, even though it is definitely less gory than my usual reads, it’s got a tension to it that makes you keep reading, but dreading it all the same.

The bad guy was a good twist. I had guessed the who and why, but that makes it better for me. I really enjoyed reading the bits with the actual bad guy that didn’t do it. He was mean and horrible and from the start I disliked him.

If you want a Nordic noir with a slow burning police procedural and down to earth characters, read this one. It’s got suspense, tension and a beautiful setting.

Black Out

This is the second in the Dark Iceland series, no matter what the bit at the top of Goodreads says. 🙂

I enjoyed going back and visiting Ari Thor again. He’s down to earth, realistic and no nonsense. He’s also a little dull and, at times, depressing, but he gets the job done and there is an endearing quality to him.

This time, Ari Thor is tasked with helping the Akureyri police track down a murderer. The victim was a sometime resident of Siglufjodur and was brutally beaten to death whilst on a building job. Ari Thor is quick to realise that this may not be as simple as it seems and that there are other games at play, which muddy the waters of the suspect pool.

I liked this one, not as much as the first, but isn’t that usually the way with a series? Anyway, it was a really good instalment and I’m very much looking forward to the next.

This one was a VERY slow burn. I felt at the start it was dragging a bit and not really going anywhere, but when the pace eventually picked up, boy did it race! The last 75 pages or so are so fast paced and actioned packed. Everything gets explained and all the drama happens here. Whilst this did redeem the earlier slow pacing for me, I would have preferred it a bit more evenly spread out throughout the book.

Not sure where it is going with Kristin, but I’m feeling that they will likely hook up again by the time of the next book! Watch this space! 🙂


So onto Books 3 & 4 – I’ll let you know what I think when I finish them!

Happy reading,

Becca x

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