Monday 19 August 2019


A bit of Scandinavian crime with a couple from Iceland and Ragnar Jonasson.

I don't really read as much Scandinavian crime as I ought to, having a tendency to veer more towards North America, Australia and much closer to home, the UK. I would struggle to remember the last Scandi book I read.

Maybe Mr Jonasson will get me more interested. To date the only Icelandic author I have enjoyed is Arnaldur Indridason and that's been a while. The Draining Lake was one of my top reads in 2013. 

Jonasson has written five books in his Dark Iceland series and a couple in his Hidden Iceland series with the third coming next year.

Dark Iceland
1. Snowblind (2015)
2. Nightblind (2015)
3. Blackout (2016)
4. Rupture (2016)
5. Whiteout (2017)

Hidden Iceland
1. The Darkness (2018)
2. The Island (2019)
3. The Mist (2020)

Snowblind (2015)

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind.

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.

Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.

‘His first novel to be translated into English has all the skilful plotting of an old-fashioned whodunnit although it feels bitingly contemporary in setting and tone’ Jake Kerridge, Sunday Express

Blackout (2016)

On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer's night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person's life hangs in the balance.Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjordur struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it's a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies...Dark, terrifying and complex, Blackout is an exceptional, atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland's finest crime writers.


  1. Isn't it interesting, Col, how we gravitate towards one or another sort of novel or sub-genre? I think either of these might be a good place to re-acquaint yourself with Scandi crime. And I agree with you, by the way: the Inspector Erlendur series is excellent.

    1. Margot, it's weird. I've enjoyed more than a few authors when I have read them..... Mankell, Indridason, Nesbo, Persson. Something else always seems to have more appeal when choosing the next few books to read!

  2. I know what you mean, Col. I am way, way behind in reading Scandi, Aussie, Irish and Scottish crime novels.

    1. I'm not on my own then Elgin. Nice to know!

  3. I have mixed results with Scandinavian crime fiction, but I like to read about different countries, how the legal system and the police work differently than here. So I do like to sample Scandinavian authors. I have Snow Blind, acquired it fairly recently and hope it does not take me forever to get to it.

    1. I usually enjoy Scandi crime - there has been the odd exception, but that's true of all sub-genres in the crime fiction family that I read in. I hope you enjoy Snowblind when you get to it.

  4. I read his Nightblind not so long ago, and quite enjoyed it: it was very readable. As your photo indicates, his books seem to be quite short by bloated contemporary standards, which is something very much in his favor!

    1. They do seem a lot shorter than many other books of a similar ilk. I just need to find the time to read him!

  5. I'm like Tracy - not always entranced by Scandi noir, but I do like a foreign mystery and a prepared to give most things a go. these sound quite hilariously dark - I mean, just the titles! If you read one and recommend it I might give it a go.