I must be the last blogger on the planet to review SnowBlind by Ragnar Jónasson, after reading so many fantastic reviews on this book, I thought it was about time I checked out what all the hype was about. Snowblind is set in Sigufjöröu 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 policeman on his first posting arrives in the small village, and within months a young woman is found bleeding and unconscious, and a local esteemed author is found dead. Add to the plot 24 hours of darkness, an avalanche and unremitting snowstorms that Close the mountain pass, and the scene is set. Snowblind is the first of the Dark Iceland series
If you like a crime thriller to be fast paced then this may not be the book for you. I was suprised by how slow this book was, it reminded me of earlier crime books, for example Agatha Christie where the author focuses more on descriptions to create mystery and atmosphere. In Raganar’s defence he manages this with aplomb, it was easy to imagine the remote setting of the town, and the sense of isolation from the rest of society. The weather plays a large part in this book and the unremitting bleakness of the conditions feels ever present, and the remoteness of the setting only adds to the claustrophobic feel of Snowblind.
There are only a small cast of murder suspects, but they are all well rounded, and each have their own story to tell. Ari the protagonist is well portrayed, and his naivety is refreshing. Once again thanks to Raganar’s very descriptive writing it was easy to feel empathy for Ari, and imagine how isolated and claustrophobic he must have felt living in such a close knitted community, where it’s difficult to know who to trust.
Snowblind is a slow paced, slightly old fashioned crime thriller, (if you are looking for blood and gore, you won’t find it here), with descriptions that really set the scene and atmosphere. Although I do love a good crime read with lots of twists and turns, I can also appreciate the extraordinary talent of Ragnar, and his very descriptive writing, unfortunately for me I would have preferred more twist and turns, and a faster pace, but I will certainly be reading Nightblind at some point. My thanks to Karen over at Orenda for my review copy in exchange for a honest review
4☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5
Publisher: Orenda Books (15 Jun. 2015)
Paperback: 300 pages