Published by Orenda Books on 1st December 2015
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.
Snowblind is reviewed here: Book one Snow Blind
I fell in love with Ari Thor and Icelandic noir in Snow Blind. Now Ari Thor is back and we have another superb mystery drama, from Ragnar Jonasson. This is Night Blind, set a good five years after book one. We get more cold dark winter days and a classic whodunnit. Hooray!
Ari Thor is still in the police force and has missed out on a promotion. His old boss has left. He is stuck with Herjolfur, a man he cannot be bothered to befriend. He is now a father to Stefnir and his relationship with Kristin is on, if not that settled. Ari Thor is sick with the flu, when Herjolfur is called to investigate something at a remote location. Herjolfur is shot and left to bleed out in the snow. His old boss Tomas returns to help Ari Thor investigate. It is a rare occurrence in Iceland, for the police to be attacked in this way. The community is in shock. The police come under political pressure to solve the case. Will Tomas and Ari Thor find the truth?
We simultaneously follow the investigation into the attack on Herjolfur and see the detention of a young mental health patient in a psychiatric ward. We hear his words and try to follow his thought processes. How is he connected to the crime? Who is he?
I love nothing more than crime in small communities, with lovely slow reveals and a smattering of clues. Everyone is a suspect in this harsh winter environment and everyone has secrets to hide. It is cold, claustrophobic and the reader feels it all. Ragnar Jonasson makes me believe in this place and want to be a part of it. Although this is set a good five years after the first book, it all feels familiar. Ari Thor is familiar and such a lovely bloke.
I cannot help but be completely and utterly charmed by this series. It will have mass appeal and will speak to people on issues such as gun control. I really don’t know how Ragnar Jonasson and his translator, Quentin Bates have done it. It is beautifully crafted and just terribly addictive. I will be begging them both for more. The only thing that irks me is the missing years in between the two books. I am not a fan of reading things in the wrong order.
An unmissable drama. This is a series that everyone is raving about and quite rightly so. I want more Ragnar Jonasson.