Snowblind (Dark Iceland Series #1)

Snowblind (Dark Iceland Series #1)

by Ragnar Jónasson


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

Where: An isolated fishing village in the fjords of northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors.

Who: Ari Thór is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavík.

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.

*BONUS CONTENT: This edition of Snowblind includes a new introduction from the author and a discussion guide

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250144683
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/07/2017
Series: Dark Iceland Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 29,880
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About 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.

Reading Group Guide

1. The author of Snowblind, Ragnar Jónasson, has translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. If you’re familiar with Agatha Christie, do you think her books have influenced Snowblind? How so?

2. Ari Thór decides to accept the job in Sigulfjördur without first consulting his girlfriend, Kristín. What did that choice lead you to expect from him as a character, and in what ways did he conform to or flout those expectations later in the book?

3. Early on, Tómas warns Ari Thór that “nothing ever happens here.” Though this ultimately proves not to be the case, what does this statement tell you about Tómas’s character?

4. How does the relationship between Tómas and Ari Thór evolve throughout the story?

5. How did each character’s backstory contribute to your understanding of the Sigulfjördur community? To your understanding of Hrólfur’s death?

6. Who did you initially suspect had a hand in Hrólfur’s death? Were any clues particularly misleading?

7. How do you feel about Hrólfur? In what ways did your opinion of him change as your knowledge of him deepened?

8. Throughout, there are italicized flashbacks to a woman under attack in her home. In what ways did these flashbacks contribute to your understanding of the main story? When did you begin to guess how the two plotlines might weave together?

9. Ari Thór informs the reader “The Icelandic tradition of reading a new book on Christmas Eve, and into the early hours of the morning, had been important in his family’s home.” How are the arts (literature, theater, music) important in this novel? What does their centrality reveal about the characters?

10. “Jonassón’s true gift is for describing the daunting beauty of the fierce setting, lashed by blinding snowstorms that smother the village in “a thick, white darkness” that is strangely comforting,” said The New York Times Book Review. Do you agree that the setting—which has also been called “claustrophobic” by reviewers—is somewhat comforting? If not, what was your reaction to the setting?

11. At the end of the novel, Ari Thór makes the statement: “It was supremely unjust,” referencing that fact that a true murderer isn’t charged, while an accidental death may make its way to trial. In what ways is this “unjust” ending a reflection of the themes throughout the book?

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