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Snowblind: A Thriller
     

Snowblind: A Thriller

by Ragnar Jonasson
 

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Where: A quiet fishing village in northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors. It is accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Who: Ari Thor is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik. He has a past that he's unable to leave behind.

What: A young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and

Overview

Where: A quiet fishing village in northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors. It is accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Who: Ari Thor is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik. He has a past that he's unable to leave behind.

What: A young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed elderly writer falls to his death. 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.

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.

Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 10/17/2016
The 2008 financial crash provides the backdrop for Jónasson’s sterling debut, a tale of past and present revenge, which combines the power of extreme climate and geography with penetrating psychological analysis. Ari Thór Arason, a 24-year-old rookie policeman and former theology student, leaves his medical-student lover, Kristín, in Reykjavík for his first assignment in Siglufjördur, an isolated village on the north coast of Iceland. As the long, dark winter settles in, Ari Thór becomes embroiled in old hurts that roil beneath the surface of Siglufjördur, where secrets spread swiftly. The fatal fall of a drunken actor down a flight of stairs in the local theater appears to be an accident—or is it? As in the medieval Icelandic sagas, small physical details produce striking characterizations (“He peered at her and his lip twisted oddly, as if he was trying to smile, but at the same time hold it back”). Jónasson skillfully alternates points of view and shifts of time that set in relief Ari Thór’s efforts to find a purpose to his lonely life. The action builds to a shattering climax. Agent: David Headley, DHH Literary Agency (U.K.). (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Praise for Ragnar Jonasson:

"A classic crime story . . .first-rate and highly recommended." —Lee Child

"A modern Icelandic take on an Agatha Christie-style mystery, as twisty as any slalom..." —Ian Rankin

"Jonasson skillfully alternates points of view and shifts of time...The action builds to a shattering climax."—Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred)

“A chiller of a thriller whose style and pace are influence by Jonasson’s admiration for Agatha Christie. It’s good enough to share shelf space with the works of Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Arnaldur Indridason, Iceland’s crime novel royalty.”—The Washington Post

“Jónasson's whodunit puts a lively, sophisticated spin on the Agatha Christie model, taking it down intriguing dark alleys.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In this debut novel, Jonasson has taken the locked-room mystery and transformed it into a dark tale of isolation and intrigue that will keep readers guessing until the final page.”—Library Journal Xpress

“Jonasson spins an involving tale of small-town police work that vividly captures the snowy setting that so affects the rookie cop. Iceland noir at its moodiest”—Booklist

"If a Golden Age crime novel was to emerge from a literary deep freeze then you’d hope it would read like this." —Craig Robertson

"Seductive … an old-fashioned murder mystery with a strong central character and the fascinating background of a small Icelandic town cut off by snow. Ragnar does claustrophobia beautifully." —Ann Cleeves

"Jonasson spins an involving tale of small town police work that vividly captures the snowy setting that so affects the rookie cop. Iceland noir at its moodiest."—Booklist

Snowblind has the classic red herrings, plot twists and surprises that characterize the best of Christie’s work. Jonasson’s latest is nicely done and simply begs for a sequel.”—BookPage

"As dazzling a novel as its title implies and the wonderful Ari Thór is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Scandinavian detectives. I can’t wait until the sequel!" —William Ryan

"Ragnar Jónasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty—a must-read addition to the growing canon of Iceland Noir." —Peter James

"Snowblind was beautifully written, the landscape alone makes for good reading." —Biblophile Book Club

"Jonasson has produced a tense and convincing thriller; he is a welcome addition to the roster of Scandi authors, and I really look forward to his next offering." —Mystery People

"Snowblind is morally more equivocal than most traditional whodunnits, and it offers alluring glimpses of darker, and infinitely more threatening horizons." —The Independent (UK)

"Snowblind is a dark, claustrophobic read, and Jónasson evokes perfectly the 24-hour darkness, the biting cold, the relentless snow and fear of a killer on the loose in a village suddenly cut off by an avalanche. His crisp, bleak prose is an exemplary lesson in how to create atmosphere without producing over-inflated books that would cause their own avalanche if dropped." —Crime Review

"Ragnar Jonasson is a new name in the crime writing genre and I urge anyone who is a fan of Nordic crime noir to rush out and get yourself a copy of Snowblind this you will want to add to your collection. It is really that good." —The Last Word-Book Review

"The plot is built cleverly as there are only a few people who could have perpetrated the crimes and it all comes to a not obvious conclusion in this well written and engaging novel. I think it does make it more sinister as you never really know if he is safe walking around in the deep snow and perpetual dark. Who can he trust?" —lacremedelacrime

"If Arnaldur is the King and Yrsa the Queen of Icelandic crime fiction, then Ragnar is surely the Crown Prince … more please!" —EuroCrime

Kirkus Reviews
2016-11-01
In the isolated Icelandic fishing village of Siglufjörður, a rookie cop newly transplanted from Reykjavík has his mettle tested by the claustrophobic conditions—and a murder.The cop, 24-year-old Ari Thór Arason, impulsively left behind his medical school girlfriend and theological studies to join the police force in the small rural community. When aged author Hrólfur Kristjánsson is found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs, reeking of alcohol, everyone assumes it was "just an accident." But Hrólfur, chairman of the Dramatic Society, had clashed with the director of its latest production the day before its scheduled opening. And the celebrated author's death isn't the only shocking news in a town where Ari is told nothing happens. A partially unclad young woman is found unconscious in her snowy garden, the victim of a brutal attack. As the 24-hour darkness presses down on relentlessly snowed-on Siglufjörður, and then an avalanche closes off the town even more, the dual investigations take on a surreal quality. The first of Jonasson's Dark Iceland novels to be translated into English gets off to a clunky start. But the author settles into a page-turning groove, emulating his hero, Agatha Christie (14 of whose novels he's translated into Icelandic), by skillfully switching points of view and casting about for murder motives. While there's nothing fresh about the plot, the increasingly gloomy setting—a reflection of the tragic losses nearly all the characters, including Ari, have experienced—provides its own distinctive edge. A bestseller in England making its U.S. debut, Jónasson's whodunit puts a lively, sophisticated spin on the Agatha Christie model, taking it down intriguing dark alleys.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250096074
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/31/2017
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
82,326
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

RAGNAR JONASSON was born in Iceland and works as an Attorney at Law and writer in Reykjavik. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. He has appeared on panels at various crime fiction festivals, including Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime in the US. Ragnar lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters. Snowblind is his debut novel.