Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Louise's Review: Nightblind by Ragnar Jónasson

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

The peace of a close-knit Icelandic community is shattered by the murder of a policeman - shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark Arctic waters closing in, it falls to Ari Thor to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik where someone is being held against their will...

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Nightblind is the second book in the series which started with Snowblind which I absolutely devoured, so I was looking forward to catching up with the antics of Ari Thor in the small Icelandic town of Siglufjordur.  I was also slightly apprehensive, in case the second book didn’t live up to the first but I needn’t have worried as this book is as marvellous, if not even more so than its predecessor.

Nightblind opens 5 years later than the events detailed in Snowblind and Ari Thor has become a father and has been passed over for promotion to Inspector.  He has also lost his mentor Tomas who has accepted a job away from Siglufjordur.  However, Tomas comes back into his life when the newly promoted Inspector is shot when on a routine call out and his eventual death needs investigating. 

This is a fantastically written intelligent thriller with emotional depth.  The small town community of Siglufjordur  is vividly described and reminds me of the claustrophobic atmosphere of St Mary Mead  in the Marple stories by Agatha Christie.  I love how the mountains and the snow are so beautifully described that they almost become a character in themselves.  The author takes us into Ari Thor’s complicated and intriguing inner life which is usually at odds with his investigation. 

I especially enjoyed the flashback chapters which were entries in a character’s diary and read alongside the current storyline added extra tension and moved the plot along energetically. After reading so many psychological thrillers recently, it’s refreshing to read a straightforward thriller with a main character you canfeel sympathy for, even with his imperfections. 

I highly recommend this book and this author and I’m only sorry that I’ve read both of these books because now I have to wait impatiently for the third in this fantastic series which is deliciously hinted at in the climax to this wonderful book.  Read it now! 

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