Book - 2017
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"Chilling, and complex, Nightblind is an extraordinary thriller from undeniable new talent Ragnar Jonasson. Ari Thór Arason: a local policeman, whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers in an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland--where no one locks their doors--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 dares not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all."-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2017
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250096098
Branch Call Number: FICTION Rag
Description: 213 pages : maps ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Bates, Quentin


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Nov 04, 2017

The entire country of Iceland is shocked by the shooting of Inspector Herjólfur in the small town of Siglufjörður. The inspector has been shot down outside an abandoned house with a violent history.

Ari Thór Arason , the policeman, who missed out on the promotion to inspector that went to Herjólfur, is home sick with the flu when he gets the call-out by the inspector's wife who has not been able to contact him.

It comes as a great shock when Ari Thór realzes if it hadn't been for the flu he might have been the one shot since Herjólfur was covering his shift.

Ari Thór old boss, Tómas, is brought back to head the investigation into the shooting. They quickly fall into their old rhythm, although Ari Thór finds himself thinking more independently, a surprising change for him.

As with any book set in Iceland, the landscape becomes a major player in the story, setting a dark atmosphere of claustrophobia and isolation in this small northern town.

The pace is slow as the investigators slowly build their case despite the red herrings, one of which has consequences to Ari Thór's home life where he is settled into a happy life with his girlfriend and new son.

The story is interwoven with the journal of a new patient in a psychiatric ward. It's not until the end that we are given the the patient's name and the main reason he has been committed.

The story follows the lines of a classic mystery. Other than our access to the journal we know no more than the detectives. We are swept up in their investigation as they methodically investigate all leads, even those that lead to powerful politicians.

Plot and story is key with Ragnar Jónasson. His characters are well delineated, but don't take center stage, nor do their personal stories, but neither are they ignored. As mentioned, setting is important, but not overwhelming.

A very satisfying read, with fans hoping for translations of the other books in the series.


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