Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson

Ragnar Jónasson is the acclaimed Icelandic author of crime fiction. The Dark Iceland series is set in and around Siglufjörður, featuring Detective Ari Thor.

Iceland is the most literary nation on earth. According to the BBC, one in ten Icelanders will publish a book. Crime fiction is particularly popular.

Ragnar Jónasson started as the guy who translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. 😀

His debut novel, Snowblind (2010) introduces Ari, a rookie cop from Reykjavik, arriving in an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Ragnar spent many summers as a kid in Siglufjörður. He writes what he knows. 

Surprisingly, the author did not do his own translation to English. His translator is British though Ragnar did edit the English editions, as well.


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.

An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge …

An intriguing plot for sure.

BUT I felt the translation I read was not particularly well written. Too simplistic. Key points repeated too often.

Jumping forward and backward in time didn’t work for me. It was confusing, not engaging.

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