Author: Ragnar Jonasson

Publisher: Minotaur Books,

Ragnar Jonasson, author of Black-Out, is a very well known writer in his native Nordic countries. He has previously penned two other novels. (Nightblind and Snowblind) This novel is his first to be published in the USA. (2018, insert) These three comprise his “Dark Iceland” series with character, Ari Thor, as a central recurring member of the cast and plots.

There are a few inside characters to this novel. Ari Thor is a police office and his cohorts are Tomas and Hlynur. Then there is the youngish newscaster looking for a way to effectively climb the ladder of success, Isrun, and the ex-girlfriend of Ari, Kirstin, who is working toward becoming a medical doctor, but does not know why she went in this direction educationally or occupationally. The story takes place across Iceland.

Elias, a man working on building a new tunnel in Iceland, turns up dead. The police force is small and murders are infrequent in this remote part of the world. Until they can find a reason and suspects for this killing lips are tight. List of potential suspects or persons of interest are drawn up. Ari and Tomas leave Hlynur at the station while to drive to where the body of Elias was found. They interview a number of people and come up with no particular reason for his death, but must continue to dig.

Isrun, wants to prove herself at the television station she anchors. There is one candidate in her way. She feels that the station manager favors this man over her. She sets out to try to solve this mystery and hopefully usurp this other individual in the process. She uses quite a few half-lies to gain entry to people who are known to know Elias in attempt to find out who may have wanted him dead and why. This she hopes will land her the top spot at her station.

Ari is unable to get Kirstin out of his head. He really loved her and blew it. As he moves ahead in this investigation he learns that she has possibly taken up with someone new and this sticks in his craw like an errant popcorn husk caught in your teeth. Try as he might he simply cannot move forward without her at his side. He is filled with jealousy and hatches a plan to see how she feels about this new man in her life.

Ari and Tomas crisscross the Icelandic countryside in hopes of finding who is responsible for this seemingly senseless murder. As they do, they unravel bits and pieces of things that may have contributed to his fate.  But how do these puzzle pieces fit together?

Isrun gets a list of potential suspects from the most unlikely of helpers, the man who is competing with her for the job she wants. She has mixed emotions about this, but keeps looking into these people and their connections to Elias all the same. She makes some headway and calls her boss at the station begging for a cameraperson to help foment her top spot in breaking news across Iceland. Will she crack this case before Ari Thor?

I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters were fun and believable. The descriptions of the countryside made me long to visit Iceland despite the cold. Add this to your Summer reading list asap!