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Snowblind

Published Date: 8th December 2014

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EBook
9781910633045
£6.99
May 2015
Paperback
9781910633038
£8.99
June 2015
Hardback
9781910633267
£14.99
May 2015 (Goldsboro Exclusive)
Audiobook
B012X3ZC6I
£14.99
August 2015

Description

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. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.

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‘Ragnar Jónasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty – a must-read addition to the growing canon of Iceland Noir’ Peter James

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‘Seductive … an old-fashioned murder mystery with a strong central character and the fascinating background of a small Icelandic town cut off by snow. Ragnar does claustrophobia beautifully’ Ann Cleeves

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‘Ragnar Jónasson’s Snowblind is as dazzling a novel as its title implies and the wonderful Ari Thór is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Scandinavian detectives. I can’t wait until the sequel!’ William Ryan

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‘A truly chilling debut, perfect for fans of Karin Fossum and Henning Mankell’ Eva Dolan

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‘An isolated community, subtle clueing, clever mis-direction and more than a few surprises combine to give a modern day Golden Age whodunnit. Well Done! I look forward to the next in the series’ Dr John Curran

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 Snowblind brings you the chill of a snowbound Icelandic fishing village cut off from the outside world, and the warmth of a really well-crafted and translated murder mystery’ Michael Ridpath

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‘The complex characters and absorbing plot make Snowblind memorable. Its setting – Siglufjörður, a small fishing village isolated in the depths of an Icelandic winter – makes it unforgettable. Let’s hope that more of this Icelandic author’s work will be translated’ Sandra Balzo

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‘In Ari Thór Arason, Nordic Noir has a new hero as compelling and interesting as the Northern Icelandic setting’ Nick Quantrill

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‘Enjoyed ‪@ragnarjo‘s Snowblind – a modern Icelandic take on an Agatha Christie-style mystery, as twisty as any slalom…’ Ian Rankin

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‘If a Golden Age crime novel was to emerge from a literary deep freeze then you’d hope it would read like this. Jónasson cleverly squeezes this small, isolated town in northern Iceland until it is hard to breathe, ensuring the setting is as claustrophobic as any locked room. If you call your book “Snowblind” then you better make sure it’s chilling. He does.’ Craig Robertson

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‘If Arnaldur is the King and Yrsa the Queen of Icelandic crime fiction, then Ragnar is surely the Crown Prince … more please!’ Karen Meek, EuroCrime

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‘Ragnar Jónasson brilliantly evokes the claustrophobia of small-town Iceland in this intriguing murder mystery. Let’s hope this is the first of many translations by Quentin Bates’ Zoë Sharp

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‘Ragnar Jónasson is simply brilliant at planting a hook and using the magic of a dark Icelandic winter to reel in the story.  Snowblind screams isolation and darkness in an exploration of the basic Icelandic nature with all its attendant contrasts and extremes, amid a plot filled with twists, turns, and one surprise after another’ Jeffrey Siger

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‘A chilling, thrilling slice of Icelandic Noir’ Thomas Enger

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‘A stunning murder mystery set in the northernmost town in Iceland, written by one of the country’s finest crime writers. Ragnar has Nordic Noir down pat – a remote small-town mystery that is sure to please crime fiction aficionados’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

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Snowblind is a brilliantly crafted crime story that gradually unravels old secrets in a small Icelandic town … an excellent debut from a talented Icelandic author. I can’t wait to read more’ Sarah Ward

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‘Is King Arnaldur Indriðason looking to his laurels? There is a young pretender beavering away, his eye on the crown: Ragnar Jónasson …’ Barry Forshaw

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‘An intricately plotted crime novel, Snowblind is a remarkable début. Ragnar Jónasson has delivered an intelligent whodunnit that updates, stretches, and redefines the locked-room mystery format. A tense and thrilling book that paints a vivid portrait of a remote town in long-term decline, facing the chilling aftershocks of the global financial meltdown. The author’s cool clean prose constructs atmospheric word pictures that recreate the harshness of an Icelandic winter in the reader’s mind. Destined to be an instant classic’ EuroDrama

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Snowblind is a beautifully written thriller, as tense as it is terrifying – Jónasson is a writer with a big future’ Luca Veste

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Love Reading JUNE pick by Maxim Jakubowsky

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‘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

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‘On the face of it, Snowblind is a gigantic locked-room mystery, an investigation into murder and other crimes within a closed society with a limited number of suspects … Jónasson plays fair with the reader – his clues are traditional and beautifully finessed – and he keeps you turning the pages. Snowblind is morally more equivocal than most traditional whodunnits, and it offers alluring glimpses of darker, and infinitely more threatening horizons’
Independent

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‘Nordic noir finds new home in heart of Arctic darkness’
Irish Times feature

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Snowblind makes Crime Squad’s Top Ten!

.Five Favourite Reads chosen by Susan Heads, Newcastle Chronicle

.The Best Crime Fiction of 2015 in The Independent

.Books of the Year, Sandra Foy

Top 10 Books of 2015, Steph’s Book Blog

Top 5 Books of 2015, Marina Sofia for Crime Fiction Lover

Best Debut Crime Fiction Lover

Top Books of 2015, Reading Room with a View

Top Ten Reads, Grab this Book

Top Crime Novels of 2015, Crime Thriller Girl

Top Books of 2015, Bolo Books

Top Books of 2015, Liz Loves Books

People’s Choice: Book of the Week

Top 10 Fiction Books of 2015, Wordery

Rising Stars of Scandi Fiction, Dead Good Books

Author

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavik in 1976, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavik University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavik, and is co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir, selected by the Guardian as one of the ‘best crime-writing festivals around the world’. Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, and he is currently working on his sixth. He lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters. Nightblind will be published by Orenda Books in 2016.

 

Website: www.ragnarjonasson.com

Translator

Quentin Bates escaped English suburbia as a teenager, jumping at the chance of a gap year working in Iceland. For a variety of reasons, the gap year stretched to become a gap decade, during which time he went native in the north of Iceland, acquiring a new language, a new profession as a seaman and a family before decamping en masse for England. He worked as a truck driver, teacher, netmaker and trawlerman at various times before falling into journalism largely by accident. He has been the technical editor of a nautical magazine for many years, all the while keeping a close eye on his second home in Iceland, before taking a sidestep into writing fiction. He is the author of a series of crime novels set in present-day Iceland (Frozen Out, Cold Steal, Chilled to the Bone, Winterlude, and Cold Comfort), which have been published in the UK, USA, Germany, Holland, Finland and Poland. He has translated a great deal of news and technical material into English from Icelandic, as well as one novel (Gudlaugur Arason’s Bowline). He’s currently working on translating a third title in Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series: Blackout.

 

Website: www.graskeggur.com

Online Reviews

Snowblind has given rise to one of the biggest buzzes in the crime fiction world, and refreshingly usurps the cast iron grip of the present obsession with domestic noir. Introducing Ari Thor, a young police officer from Reykjavik, who takes up a posting in the small northern community of Siglufjordur, leaving behind not only the city, but his girlfriend too, and immersing him in a complex and perplexing case, in a claustrophobic and chilling setting…’ Raven Crime Reads

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This has all the ingredients – a young policeman, a girlfriend left behind, murders both old and new for solving together with the intertwining of relationships within a small community as it goes through a snowbound dark winter.  An absorbing read and one I didn’t put down.’ Thinking of you and me

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‘This first English translation from Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series delivers an engrossing and rewarding whodunnit, an appealing lead character and the promise of an excellent new series of crime novels, (that already features six novels in its native language), with the second instalment coming via Orenda…’ Nordic Noir Blog

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‘This first English translation from Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series delivers an engrossing and rewarding whodunnit, an appealing lead character and the promise of an excellent new series of crime novelsAlthough the intricate plotting is reminiscent of the great Christie the setting is very much more modern and darker. There is an increasing tension and threat, that mirrors the developing snow storm and creates a sense of isolation and confinement, ensuring that the story develops strongly once the characters and scene are laid out’ Live Many Lives

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‘Ari Thór is a likeable guy with his heart in the right place and with enough impulsive decisions in him to make him thoroughly believable and Ragnar’s descriptions of the local weather and wilderness are as beautiful and engaging as any Icelandic author I have come across yet’ Grant Nichol, Guest Review, Kiwi Crime

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‘All the supporting characters have great depth in this closed circle crime book which is reminiscent of Agatha Christie with all the secrets and lies and the isolation of the suspects. This is a brooding, atmospheric book; with the darkness and constant snow there is a claustrophobic feel to everything, which is heightened to the nth degree when there is an avalanche and the one road in and out of the village is blocked. A quick mention has to go to Quentin Bates who has done a brilliant job translating this book from Icelandic to English … fabulous’

Reading Writes & For Reading Addicts

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‘A tense and thrilling book that paints a picture of a remote town in long-term decline. Ragnar Jonasson’s personal links to the area has ensured that Snowblind conveys verisimilitude on every page. His grandfather lived in Siglufjörður and wrote about its history. The author’s cool, clean prose constructs atmospheric word pictures that recreate the harshness of an Icelandic winter in the reader’s mind. Highly sophisticated storytelling techniques reveal a writer who has soaked up every lesson he could learn from Golden Age crime fiction and made it his own. Achieving the seemingly impossible, Ragnar Jonasson has reinvented the locked room mystery for a more sophisticated readership. Translated by Quentin Bates, Snowblind is destined to be an instant classic’

 Andy Lawrence, EuroDrama and CrimeTime

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‘The opening sentence of this novel may well be one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever read, and I was certainly hooked from this moment in. Jonasson weaves the reader through a series of emotional incidents and provocative encounters, sometimes through Ari Thor as the protagonist and sometimes through the eyes of surrounding characters, all of whom contribute and all of whom are relevant, making them incredibly interesting in their own rights … Jonasson’s prose throughout this entire novel is stunning, captivating, and frequently borders on the poetic, constructing something that is both beautiful and uncomfortable for the reader. … a simply stunning piece of prose that will certainly put him in the thick of the crime genre in the United Kingdom’

Charlotte Barnes, MadHatter Reviews

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Snowblind uses its stunningly beautiful yet brutally remote setting to create a chilling, atmospheric locked room mystery. It’s a fantastic read with great writing, engaging characters and an expertly crafted plot filled with twists, turns and slight of hand. Ragnar Jónasson is an outstanding new voice in Nordic Noir, and I’m really looking forward to the next in the series – Nightblind – that’s out next year. Highly recommended’

Steph Broadribb, Crime Thriller Girl

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‘Dark Iceland? This man not only invented it, he rules it. This is one of the most exciting places I’ve read about – a real place whilst also being a setting of real intrigue with snowy landscapes, a town cut off by the elements, the isolation of high mountains and a community cut off in every which way they can. From the opening page, the tension and chilling horror is there. The idyllic snow angel image is no longer full of childhood innocence and the snow blind of the title covers your eyes with white flurries and clouds of mist which shroud the mystery and intrigue’ The Booktrail

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Snowblind is a subtle, quiet mystery set in the most exquisite landscape – a slow burner that will suck you in and not let you go until you finish the final page’  Reading Room with a View

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Crime-writing in Iceland … Really? Guest Post by Ragnar Jonasson Something Is Going To Happen

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What’s Your First Draft Like? – Ragnar Jonasson (Blog Tour Special!) Guest Blog, Rebecca Bradley Crime

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‘A Christie for Christmas’ Guest feature for crime-fiction website The Life Sentence

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And then, to top off what was a most successful weekend for the agency, we received the phenomenal news that Ragnar Jónasson, author of the outstanding novel Snowblind (published by Orenda Books and translated by Quentin Bates, who has done a very fine job indeed)managed to rise so sharply up the rankings of the Amazon UK Kindle Store that it hit the number 1 spot for all eBooks in the UK! And yes, we really do mean this, it managed to knock the worldwide bestseller The Girl on the Train off its top spot for the weekend, a position that had been held for a great many months. We couldn’t have been more thrilled, especially as the timing was just so brilliant with Ragnar being over with us in the UK for CrimeFest. A toast was raised, and we hope that Snowblind will go on to great things, as both author and publisher alike deserve all the success in the world. The book isn’t even officially published yet, but already has numerous fans including some very big name authors. If you don’t believe me, you can see below none other than Lee Child with his copy of Snowblind that he picked up over the weekend… Snowblind is also currently book of the month at Goldsboro Books’ Harry Illingworth, DHH Literary Agency Blog

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‘SNOWBLIND chilled me to the bone – not only because of its setting in a cold Icelandic winter, but also because of the story’ Guest Blog, Murder is Everywhere

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Ragnar Jónasson on Snowblind and Influences. Guest Blog, Shots Magazine

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Q&A with Ragnar Jonasson ‘Is it true you have many words for snow?’
‘Snjór, slydda, él, snær, drífa, fönn, hríð, mjöll, lausamjöll, hjarn, nýsnævi, skari, kafsnjór, kafald, éljagangur, hagl, hundslappadrífa, hríð, ofankoma, bylur, skafrenningur … How many do you want?’ The Booktrail

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‘This year I’ve been working on translating Ragnar’s books, which came about partly because my regular publisher was taken over so there was a gap in my publishing schedule. I’ve done a lot of translation stuff in the past, mostly dry technical material, so it was a challenge to get to grips with a novel and publisher Karen Sullivan at Orenda took a massive chance with Snowblind, taking on both a debut author and an untested translator. But the buzz around Snowblind has shown that she did the right thing’
Interview with Quentin BatesCrime Fiction Lover

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‘Translation has also been better that the most fiendish crossword for keeping the grey cells active, almost as fiendish as the plotting of Ragnar’s book. There has been much silent muttering and poring over dictionaries, and my vocabulary of obscure Icelandic words has certainly grown. Would I do it again? I already am… Look out for Nightblind next year, and hopefully a few more of Iceland’s stable of crime writers appearing in English in the next few years’  Guest Post with Quentin BatesCrime Thriller Girl

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Just when I think I’ve had enough of the frozen north, another promising author shows up. This is a truly enjoyable debut, hinting at much more to come. A charming combination of influences, which feels very fresh and will appeal to those who find cosy crime too twee and Scandinavian noir too depressing’, Crime Fiction Lover

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‘The writing is clear, evocative and fraught with tension and the descriptions of the unforgiving nature of an Icelandic winter are executed brilliantly. The overbearing landscape enhances the increasing sense of claustrophobia and isolation Ari Thór feels to the point where it is palpable. Despite feeling like I knew the characters inside out, I was surprised by the climax and resolution of the story which is exactly what I want from a murder mystery.’ Salboho

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Interview with Ragnar Jonasson, Crime Fiction Lover

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Guest blog by Ragnar Jonasson, Martin Edwards’ Do You Write Under Your Own Name 

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Snowblind is the first in a series of novels, labelled as ‘Dark Iceland’. Read the first page and you will immediately understand why – it is dark, it is gripping and it is fascinating’ The Welsh Librarian

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Ragnar Jónasson’s first novel, Snowblind, is a gentle but intricate work where the location plays just as important role as the characters themselves’ Review & interview at Iceland Defrosted

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Snowblind epitomises exactly this sort of exciting, new cross-genre fiction. It is a fusion of Nordic Noir (with landscape, weather and socio-economic issues featuring, and a dark atmosphere) and Golden Age detective fiction, with Christie-esque plotting, characterisation and narrative techniques (a crime at the theatre and a type of locked room mystery)’ Vicky Newham

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This is an excellent debut novel, with several twists and turns, and has been well translated by Quentin Bates. To me, it was like reading a modern-day Icelandic Agatha Christie novel. I look forward to reading meeting Ari Thor again soon’ Victoria Goldman

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‘A deliciously old-fashioned mystery’ Crime Worm

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‘For a debut novel, Snowblind is startlingly confident and sure-footed. The characters and dialogue all ring true, the plot is original and packed with plenty a surprise. Perhaps most pleasingly of all, Jónasson steers clear of hackneyed plot devices and reveals; while Ari Thor possess a talent for his work he’s no ‘instant wonder / super cop’ – in fact his inexperience lands him in a very dangerous position as he enthusiastically blunders into a confrontation with a killer, preventing any real chance of justice being served and only solves the novels main “who dunnit” by chance’

Tony Hill, Mumbling About Music

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‘A damn good thriller’ OMG That Book

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‘There is so much about this book which I enjoyed. Ari Thór is a refreshingly believable crime fighter with his youthful errors of judgement, his struggles to fit in and to survive the oppressive environment. The plot twists and turns as the investigation uncovers a plethora of old deceits and current intrigues. Festering wounds are opened spilling secrets as dark as the days, as shocking as the blood on the suffocating snow.’ Jackie Law, Never Imitate

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‘There is something almost hauntingly melancholic about this story. The claustrophobia felt by Ari Thor is palpable. You can almost feel the walls of snow caging you in and the sense of almost perpetual winter darkness makes you reach for the light switch. There is also an air of menace which is juxtaposes the almost ‘cosy’ feel to the mystery. The tale is set in a small town, where doors are kept unlocked and everyone knows everyone else. Yet secrets lurk behind those unlocked doors and outsiders like Ari Thor sense what is almost hidden from view’

Janet Emson, From First Page to Last

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‘Jónasson has bestowed his characters with unique, more importantly believable, personalities, and has made sure that their interactions throughout serve mainly to play on readers’ mind and psychology. The author engages his audience in an ongoing guessing game that extends right up to the very end as they try to sift out the ultimate culprit among the clues, twists and turns of this well-woven plot’ Book Fabulous

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Ragnar Jonasson’s debut Snowblind is a brilliant new thriller with storytelling that is clear and crisp. The setting is northwest Iceland amongst the dazzling white snow and arctic chill of winter … The plot twists and turns as the tension and intensity builds and we are treated to an excellent ending to the book’ Liz Loves Books

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Firstly, this is a damn good story. The small town mentality juxtaposes with the vastness of the landscape and lends an eeriness to the overall narrative. Secondly, the descriptive passages are stunning … Thirdly, the author has described small town mentality with immaculate perception. The prose is delightful with moments of exceptional clarity.’
Margaret Madden, Bleach House Library

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‘If you like cold and claustrophobic settings as I do, then this might just be the book for you. Jónasson does a wonderful job with placing you right there in the small snowed in town’ Rebecca Bradley

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‘A tiny, segregated town is a superb setting for a crime novel, and Jonasson exploits it well. He builds a layered mystery featuring a series of unhealthy secrets, and past crimes buried deep in the sheltered, almost claustrophobic recesses of family life, which Ari Thor will pay a high price for unravelling’ Thriller Books Journal

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‘If the rest of the Dark Iceland series is as accomplished as Snowblind, Ragnar Jónasson’s name is poised to become as common place as that of Stieg Larsson’s. Don’t be fooled into thinking Jónasson is a mere imitation, however. By deconstructing the Golden Age traditional mystery within a foreign setting, Ragnar Jónasson has practically created his own genre. For lack of a better term, let’s call this Cozy Noir’ Bolo Books

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‘Siglufjordur is a thriller writer’s dream location – a tight-knit community, encircled by mountains, almost round-the-clock darkness in midwinter, cut off from the rest of the country by the harsh weather; it all adds to the brooding menace of having a killer at large!’ Our Reviews Blogspot

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Interview with Ragnar Jonasson in Nordophile

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‘Snowblind – a masterclass in scene setting and subtle tension building … Where Agatha Christie created a murder mystery with a small suspect pool on a fast moving train or within a large country house, Ragnar Jonasson creates the same feel in a whole town’ Grab This Book

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‘Jonasson has produced a tense and convincing thriller; he is a welcome addition to the roster of Scandi authors, and I really look forward to his next offering’ Susan Moody, Mystery People

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Interview with Catriona O’Sullivan at Edinburgh Book Festival, Arts News/Writers Stories 

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Dulwich Books Recommendation, Dulwich On View

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‘Ari Thór is a compelling lead: a young man yet to come to terms with the tragedies in his past, feeling his way in important relationships, not always doing the right thing but still trying to make a difference when it counts. And Siglufjördur is a wonderfully evocative setting; encircled by mountains and cut-off in the winter when the roads are impassable, as the complex web of secrets becomes ever more enmeshed, its small-town, suffocating darkness heightens Ari Thór’s increasing paranoia at being an outsider in his own land.’ Claire Thinking

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Guest on BBC World Service Are we Losing the Ability to Focus?, BBC World Service: Outlook

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Q&A as part of the Bloody Scotland Blog Tour, Reading Room with a View

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‘This is a first outing in English for Ari Thor, bolstered by a pin-sharp translation by Quentin Bates, himself a crime fiction writer. And this is clearly a series worth the effort. Jonasson evokes an almost timeless feel to his narrative, with only mobile phones and computers reminding us that this is the 21st century. It’s no surprise, either, to discover that Jonasson has translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, as Snowblind has echoes of Golden Age stories. Siglufjordur may be light years away from St Mary Mead, but villagers here have secrets to hide’

Sharon Wheeler, Crime Review 

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Recommendation by Amanda Jennings during interview, Tattooed Mummy’s Randoms

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Ragnar Jonasson gives his thoughts on Agatha Christie, Irish Times

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Snowblind is as atmospheric a murder mystery that you could find. Reminiscent of the classic whodunnits of writers such as Agatha Christie, it presents its evidence within a confined and isolated community, its number of suspects is small, the red herrings will be numerous and there will be several false leads as the determined detective digs his way to the truth.’ For Winter Nights – A Bookish Blog

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‘Ragnar Jónasson takes us to the bleak and suitably isolated town of Siglufjörđur, about as far north-west as it is possible to go in Iceland without falling into the icy waters of the Denmark Strait. Ari Thór Arason is newly graduated from police college, and he is soon up to his warmly-clad neck in a murder mystery. Two contrasting deaths – those of an aged and well respected author and of a young woman, plunge him in at the deep end of what is almost a classic locked room mystery, as Siglufjörđur is cut off from the world by geography and climate. Who is responsible for the bloodstains in the snow?’ Star recommendation at Crime Fiction Lover

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Snowblind was the talk of Nordicana and I wasn’t allowed to leave without having bought a copy. Two hundred and fifty pages later, I can report that Ragnar Jónasson’s novel, translated by Quentin Bates, is an entertaining – and curiously thought-provoking – addition to Icelandic Noir. The writer manages the feat of keeping the prose quite pacy while getting across the ennui of the town’s bleak existence during the harsh winter.’ Café Thinking

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‘Beautifully written … plenty of twists and turns. An enjoyable read: cold and well paced’ Bibliophile Book Club

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Ragnar Jónasson is a new name in the crime writing genre and I urge anyone who is a fan of Nordic crime noir to rush out and get yourself a copy of Snowblind this you will want to add to your collection. It is really that good. Ragnar Jónasson is a new name in the crime writing genre and I urge anyone who is a fan of Nordic crime noir to rush out and get yourself a copy of Snowblind this you will want to add to your collection. It is really that good … a tense, gripping novel’ The Last Word

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‘The plot is built cleverly … you never know if he is safe walking around in the deep snow’ Crème de la Crème Crime

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‘There is really something special about Snowblind, with its mix of classic crime and Scandinavian quirkiness. It is easy to get into, highly atmospheric and incredibly exciting. It is an exceptional translation, without any clunky English. Look out for this one!!! Recommended’ Northern Crime

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‘The book is expertly plotted with a well-drawn cast of characters. It’s strong on atmosphere with the claustrophobic nature of life in this small community cut off from the rest of the world and full of snow and darkness captured beautifully. Although so modern in many ways, that isolated nature of the setting also echoes a more traditional style of crime fiction. Hugely satisfying and the first in a series so more to look forward to. Go buy or borrow it!’ Vanessa Robertson

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‘Throughout the narrative, what seems to be a different novel, is intertwined with the main storyline and thus, the interest of the reader is increased. A writing resource that works pretty well, in my view. The reading turns out to be really attractive due, in a large extent, to an excellent prose, superbly translated into English by Quentin Bates. I’ve truly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it. Meanwhile, I look very much forward to his forthcoming novel. My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)’ J Escribano, A Crime Is Afoot

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‘I loved the way Ari would think of something or ask a question and you didn’t find out straight away what he discovered. Just a little enticement to read a little bit more. AIt is beautifully written (and translated by Quentin Bates) and I’m looking forward to reading the second book Night Blind very soon’, Steph’s Book Blog

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‘Beautifully written, Snowblind comes with great characters; a wonderful sense of place; a cleverly constructed plot; and that introspective, claustrophobic feeling that often appeals to fans of Icelandic and Scandinavian crime fiction. Coupled with a lyrical translation by Quentin Bates there was not an off-key note from start to finish.’ Australian Crime Fiction

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‘I raced through this very enjoyable debut from Ragnar Jonasson and I look forward to catching up with Ari Thor and his colleagues’ lives in NIGHTBLIND’ Karen Meek, EuroCrime

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‘I have a thing for crime books, especially ones in unusual settings and this book doesn’t disappoint – set in Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland … thoroughly recommend’ From Silverdale with Love

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Advent blog tour with The Book Trail at Liz Loves Books

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‘Great stuff! Everyone, it seems, has a secret and I have to say, I did guess one of them. No matter: it was an engrossing read and a very promising debut’ Christine Poulson

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‘A fantastically well-crafted story, with some clever and well thought out characterisation, which plays its setting to superb effect but never loses sight that the mystery holding it together is central. A phenomenal read and without a doubt one of the classiest crime fiction novels of 2015, I cannot recommend this book any more highly. With seamless translation from Quentin Bates adding the cherry on top this is simply dazzling’ Rachel Hall

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‘The whole storyline felt a bit like something out of Midsummer Murders apart from it being set in a small idyllic village in Iceland. It didn’t have the feel of the gritty crime novels that I am used to reading but do you know what, I didn’t mind. If anything it makes Snowblind very much stand out from other books in the same genre’

By the Letter Book Reviews

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Snowblind is brilliant!  An absolute blinder in fact.  If you don’t believe me get yourself a copy now to see for yourself’ A Lover of Books

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‘The plot is unique, mysterious, thrilling and shows the authors incredible talent. But it’s not only the plot that impresses. The characters are so complex, all in their own way. You will go from hating to liking some and vice versa, you will suspect everyone and you will come to love some too’ Aggie’s Books

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‘The story jumps through time, creating a mystery that intertwines the lives of everyone Ari Thór meets. The pages are dotted with clues, which lie within the characters’ lives, past and present. Jónasson knows when and how to keep key information away from the reader, allowing you to make up your own mind and decide on something, only to have your focus suddenly twisted elsewhere. You ultimately discover that you couldn’t have guessed the perpetrator, let alone the motive.’ The Bandwagon

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‘Despite the traditional feel of some aspects, the book doesn’t feel at all old-fashioned, since both the structure and the story are firmly modern’ FictionFan

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‘Jonasson gives us an interesting set of characters with well-developed descriptions of their history in the town and their relationships with one another’ The Book Binder’s Daughter

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‘The village/villagers are full of secrets and lies and Ari struggles to know who he can trust…now that would be scary!  I was reminded, when reading this book, of those old ‘whodunnit’ or murder mystery type books…but this one was brought to the 21st century…same feel, different era … an eerie, suspenseful, isolated, chilling and beautifully written crime novel…then please, fall in love with Scandanavian Noir and get reading Snow Blind!’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘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’ The Book Review Café

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‘As the story’s layers are slowly peeled away clues fall together providing a satisfactory ending. I had no idea of the culprit until it became obvious with great calculated skill. Low on graphic gore which I prefer, heavy on mystery penned with a lovely contemporary literary feel. Excellent translation, Quentin Bates outdoes himself’ Discerning Reader

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‘Richly atmospheric, this is a novel that truly makes you feel the claustrophobia in Siglufjordur. A well thought through plot, good characterisation and exquisite use of language make this a thoroughly good read’ Kindle Delight

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‘Snowblind is a delight to read. I was involved in the world of Ari from the start and Jonasson craftily puts together a bleak feeling of claustrophobia that draws us into this inner world. I’m very much looking forward to reading Nightblind, the second book in the Dark Iceland series, very soon indeed.’ Kevin Freeburn

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‘Ragnar Jónasson’s debut mystery meets all my requirements for a moody, engrossing Nordic Nordic noir read’ Crime by the Book

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‘This is a slower pace of crime novel that I am used to however it was still had me gripped from the first pages due to it’s beautiful narrative and slow build up of tension. A fantastic debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Jónasson. Also, Snowblind is well translated, as I was reading it I completely forgot that it wasn’t actually written in English’ Have Books Will Read

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‘I found when I was reading that I lost track of things, I was reading when it was daylight yet upon looking up from the book I was always momentarily confused at seeing bright skies and no snow.  The mysteries themselves are laid out in such a way that you guess, you wonder if perhaps it was him, maybe when they did that he….but maybe not….perhaps it was her instead…..what does that mean…..wait a minute!…..no, that’s not right either…..I like her, I hope it wasn’t her……oh, this interesting!…..and on it goes, page after page of thoughts like those, constantly questioning and wondering and waiting for Ari Thor to figure out because somehow you know he will’ BookloverWorm

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‘What Ragnar Jonasson has done brilliantly in this book is bring the town of Siglufjorour to life – even if I have no idea how to pronounce it! I was reading this over Midsummer, with light in the sky past eleven at night, yet I could sense the darkness and chill of the Icelandic winter. The oppressiveness of the snow and cold was ever present and the feeling of the claustrophobia, especially when the town was cut off by an avalanche, was almost tangible.’ Portobello Book Blog

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‘Ragnar Jónasson’s ‘Snowblind’ is the perfect mystery thriller: poetic and beautiful language, brilliant pacing that brings everything together but still leaves you reeling with questions towards the end, and brilliantly flawed and realistic characters that all hold a motive … I really loved the way in which Jónasson implements side chapters into the narrative to add additional tension, suspense, and mystery to the overall investigation and bringing a sense of fear to the reader as they believe that these events are taking place parallel to the main narrative … There were a few twists and turns throughout the novel that I was not truly expecting and I finished the novel with a few questions left unanswered which I am hoping will be covered in the next book within the series.’ The Reading Lodge

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‘Overall, this was a well-written crime novel that is equal parts thorough mystery and breathtaking suspense. The fact that this book is such a compelling, character driven read only adds to the appeal, and the setting itself is like another main character adding massive amounts of intrigue and darkness.’

The Suspense is Thrilling me

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‘I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written in a simple but effective way: with no unnecessary padding. I have read that many of the same characters will appear in the follow-up books which I am really looking forward to reading (I love series for this very reason – it’s like catching up with old friends).’ The Book Whisperer

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‘So if you are wondering whether or not to take that first step into something new then I’d say go on give it a go! Snowblind is atmospheric, chilling and will wrap its icy fingers around your heart, a beautifully written crime novel that is an excellent start to a new series!’ Chapter in my Life

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The Whole Dark Iceland Series received a recommendation as part of the top books of 2016.

Have Books Will Read

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‘Ari Thor may be naïve when it comes to affairs of the heart, but he shows intelligence and persistence in investigating the apparently accidental death of a local author. This classically crafted whodunit holds up nicely, but Jonasson’s true gift is for describing the daunting beauty of the fierce setting, lashed by blinding snowstorms that smother the village in “a thick, white darkness” that is strangely comforting. Snowblind is listed as one of the best and latest in crime fiction.’ New York Times 

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‘This is a brilliant story! A mystery… One I did not figure out before the big revealed. Ragnar Jonasson knows how to write a story, a new favourite author of mine! Snowblind is written well and easy to devour. In fact I purposely left the last 6 pages as I didn’t want it to end but also couldn’t wait to finish it. I loved it. I would highly recommend this series to you all so far and my reviews for the following two books will be up shortly no doubt! I am hooked by this series. Very impressed. Gorgeous cover too. A well deserved five stars. Bring on the next book! Enjoy.’ Gemma’s Book Reviews

Reviews