Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village on the northernmost tip of Iceland, accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers continue to haunt him. The peace of this close-knit 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 winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór 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. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dare not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all. Dark, chilling and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from an undeniable new talent.
Snow Blind was amongst my top ten books from 2015 so I was pleased that Night Blind was published just as I finished it.
It is set roughly five years later, with three books covering the period between the two still to be published. This did feel slightly unusual but both books could easily be read as a standalone or out of sequence.
Ari Thór is back in a relationship with Kristen and they now have a young son. I struggled to like her, and at times I thought that Ari felt the same. What he did love was being part of a family which is something that he had missed out on.
The claustrophobic atmosphere was still there but not as much, the little town wasn’t as cut off from the rest of the country as it was when Ari first moved there. Even though he had now lived there for five years he was still considered to be an outsider. He found it difficult to accept that everybody knew him and his family but he didn’t know them. I found this quite amusing and could imagine it being very accurate. It also made me smile how offended Tomas was when he noticed that changes had been made to his old home.
It felt like a fairly ‘quiet’ read for most of it.Much of the novel focuses on the investigation into the policeman’s murder but there were also some sinister diary excerpts from the 1980s. You aren’t told who the diary belongs to and I couldn’t work it. I was then taken completely by surprise by a couple of very convincing violent scenes, one in particular left me feeling a little bit tense.
I now have my second signed Ragnar Jónasson novel, but thanks to Karen Sullivan for providing a proof copy for review.
See below for details regarding the blog tour.