I’m thrilled to be able to finally post my review for White Out by Ragnar Jonasson. This review was meant to be part of the blog tour last month but due to moving and being totally let down by our broadband provider I wasn’t able to post when scheduled.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for their help and patience at what was a frustrating and stressful time.
White Out is now available to buy in paperback and ebook here.
Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thor Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier…
Whiteout has to be one of the most unusual crime books I have read. It’s not faced paced and there isn’t a lot of action in it. Instead it’s the atmospheric setting and the characters that draws you in and keeps you reading.
The setting of the novel is an isolated, half abandoned village near the coast in Iceland. The Isolated house, along with the suspicious circumstances of the case help to create an eerie, unsettling atmosphere that is very intriguing. From the start the reader realises that there is something strange about the house’s set up and the character there, This definitely makes you want to keep reading while you try and figure out what this is.
The character development in the book is also very clever. Not much is revealed about the characters at the beginning and more is very revealed throughout the investigation mainly through reveals by the other characters.
I liked the main investigator, Ari Thor. I thought he was very thorough and I liked that he tried to ensure things were being done correctly. He seemed determined to try and find out the truth and was uneasy wen he didn’t think they had done things right or had arrested the right person. I felt very sorry for Thora and Ostar who seemed to have had a few disappointments throughout their lives and their current demeanor seemed to reflect that. I did wish they were more vocal and said what they actually meant rather than skirting around their opinions.
The facts and information about Asta’s murder are very gradually revealed. This gradual unraveling is cleverly done and I was definitely kept guessing until the end. I was surprised by some of the revelations as I hadn’t expected the story to go that way.
This is the 5th book in the Dark Iceland series but it is the first book that I have read. I will be going back and reading the rest of the books in the series as soon as possible.
Huge thanks to Karen and Orenda books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me on the blog tour.
About The Author:
Ragnar Jonasson (www.ragnarjonasson.com) is the Icelandic writer of the Dark Iceland crime series set in Northern Iceland. Snowblind (2015) is the first book in the Dark Iceland series. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, and works as a lawyer in Reykjavik. He is also a teacher at Reykjavik University Law School and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen of Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir, and has appeared on panels at Crimefest in Bristol, Left Coast Crime in the USA, Bloody Scotland in Stirling and Iceland Noir in Iceland. Ragnar’s short story Death of a Sunflower was published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine January 2014 issue, the first story in the magazine by an Icelandic author. His second Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine story, A Letter to Santa, was published in the January 2015 issue. Ragnar’s short story Party of Two was published in the Crime Writers’ Association 2014 anthology Guilty Parties, edited by Martin Edwards. Ragnar lives in Reykjavik with his wife and daughters.