Friday 18 December 2020

BLOG TOUR: Winterkill (Dark Iceland 6) - Ragnar Jónasson


A blizzard is approaching Siglufjörður, and that can only mean one thing…

When the body of a nineteen-year-old girl is found on the main street of Siglufjörður, Police Inspector Ari Thór battles a violent Icelandic storm in an increasingly dangerous hunt for her killer … The chilling, claustrophobic finale to the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.

Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill is a startling addition to the multi-million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting and acclaimed authors in crime fiction.

What did I think?

I have not read a Ragnar Jónasson book that was anything less than brilliant and Winterkill is no exception.  Winterkill, translated by David Warriner, is the stunning conclusion to the fantastic Dark Iceland series and although I'm sad to say goodbye to Ari Thór Arason, I'm mindful that it's only au revoir as I plan to read this amazing series all over again.

You could definitely read Winterkill as a standalone novel as the storyline is brilliant and the characters are so well developed, however, reading the earlier books explains the foibles of Ari Thór's character.  Ari Thór is a bit of an odd character but I really like him; he's not very proactive in life, expecting things to fall in his lap with little effort which is how he's living alone and stuck in Siglufjörður, dreaming of a future life in Reykjavík.

Ari Thór looks like he has a simple case of suicide after a teenager plunges to her death from a balcony.  As it's not her home, the only loose end is the question of what she was doing there.  The case becomes more complicated when a resident in a nursing home writes a message on his wall after overhearing his carers talking about the girl's suicide: 'She was murdered'.  What does the old man know that Ari Thór doesn't?  

With such a razor sharp plot, I hope Ragnar Jónasson didn't cut himself when writing Winterkill.  It's just brilliant from start to finish, impossible to second-guess and even more impossible to put down.  Ragnar Jónasson is one of the best crime writers I have ever read; his writing cleverly builds layer upon layer of suspense in keeping with the snow falling in Siglufjörður.  I am completely in awe of Ragnar Jónasson's writing talent and I am delighted that the Dark Iceland series has been optioned for TV; I can't wait to see Ari Thór on my screen.

Winterkill is tense, ominous and chilling so wrap up warm, put the kettle on and sit down with one of the best books you'll read this year.  Very highly recommended and once again Ragnar 'Five Star' Jónasson is awarded my highest possible rating.

I received an ebook to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík 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 fourteen 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 Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. 

Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015 with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most  Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

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