‘Marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series’
[ About the Book ]
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.
[ My Review ]
Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson concludes the Dark Iceland Series and will be published with Orenda Books, in hardback and digital format, December 10th (PB release is January 21st 2021) Translated from French by David Warriner, Winterkill is described as ‘chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing’, and sees the return of Ari Thór Arason for one last time.
“Winterkill is classic Ragnar Jónasson … chilling, twisty and tense – that fabulous blend of Golden Age crime and Nordic Noir – and it’s set once again in the northernmost town in Iceland, bound on one side by mountains, on another by the sea, with only a tunnel providing access to the outside world. As a ferocious blizzard sets in, wiping out power, the town is plunged into darkness, making Ari Thór’s investigation all the more unpredictable … and dangerous.” – Karen Sullivan, Orenda Books
Six years after arriving to Siglufjörður, in the north of Iceland, from Reykjavík, Ari Thór is now a police inspector living alone. Six months previously his girlfriend, Kristín, moved to Sweden with their three-year-old son, Stefnir. A life-changing decision for all involved, Kristín returned to university to complete a master’s degree, further enhancing her medical qualifications. Their relationship had endured many obstacles and the separation was of no major surprise to either party. Ari Thór is learning to adapt to all these changes, both in his personal and professional life and he is finding the transition unsettling. Now with Easter weekend approaching, he is looking forward to Kristín and Stefnir arriving for a few days.
An unexpected phone call in the early hours changes everything, when the body of a young woman is discovered on the street not far from his home. With no trace of foul play, the initial speculation is suicide, a jump from an overhanging balcony but as Ari Thór digs deeper into the young woman’s past, he makes some shocking discoveries.
Meanwhile, Ari gets a call from an old friend at a nursing home. An elderly resident had repeatedly written the words ‘She was murdered’ all over the walls of his bedroom. Are these two cases connected? What is the truth behind the tragic death of this very studious and quiet young woman, nineteen years old with a very bright future ahead of her?
Ari Thór is an unusual character. With an old-style policing approach, he has a unique way of unearthing the truth and revealing the pain, grief and anger that lies beneath the surface. When he first moved to Siglufjörður, he was very much aware that he was a stranger in this northern community. But over the years, he has been accepted and as the town starts to attract more investment, and more tourists, Ari Thór begins to finally feel a local himself. As head of the investigative team and, now, the most senior member of the force, he has finally garnered respect but he still struggles with his own personal demons. Is he good enough? Can he match up to his mentor and predecessor, Tómas? Is remaining in Siglufjörður the right decision or should he return to Reykjavík? In the dead of night these are among the thoughts that rattle around in his head, leaving him permanently exhausted but determined to see justice done for this young woman.
A Ragnar Jónasson book has multiple characters, but for me, the one that always stands out is Iceland. The coldness really does seep off the pages necessitating you, the reader, to wrap your hands around a hot cuppa while you read on. It is so easy to visualise the stark environment and the people who inhabit this harsh landscape.
Winterkill is a mystery novel but this element really is more of an aside, as we finally bid Ari Thór farewell. With many decisions to make about his future, the reader is taken on one last journey with him. Winterkill is not written in the same fashion as many of the crime fiction novels that we currently see on the bookshelves, with Ragnar Jónasson writing his ‘Agatha Christie-ish’ style whodunit tale with his now distinctive penmanship. For those who have read the previous five books in the Dark Iceland Series, Winterkill will hopefully provide the much-wanted closure and, to all new Ari Thór fans across the globe, an Icelandic adventure awaits.
[ Bio ]
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 and Rupture following soon after. Winterkill is the sixth 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.
Twitter – @ragnarjo
Website – www.ragnarjonasson.com