Northern Icelandic police officer Ari Thór Arason returns in Ragnar Jonasson’s Nightblind, the second novel in his Dark Iceland series.
Police inspector Herjólfur is the top cop in Siglufjörður, a small fishing village in northern Iceland. Ari Thór Arason, still relatively new to the area, is his right-hand man, though the two aren’t particularly close. One night, while Ari is home battling the flu, Herjólfur covers his shift. Outside of a house with a violent past, Herjólfur is gunned down in cold blood.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Siglufjörður is reeling. Tómas, Ari’s old boss, is brought in to help find the killer. Things have changed for Ari, though, since the last time he worked under Tómas. He’s now an experienced officer, capable of seeing things on his own and, more importantly, in different ways than his superior.
As the murder case evolves, Jonasson takes time to also develop his characters. Ari grows not only as a cop, but also as a father to his newborn son, who lives with him and his girlfriend. Siglufjörður again plays a major role. The small town is dark, depressing, and, due to its secluded nature, borderlines on claustrophobic. The setting alone sets the tone perfectly early on, as Jonasson slowly builds towards a twist that caps off plenty of suspense and a satisfying conclusion.
Coming in at just over two hundred pages, Nightblind is a quick read with steady pacing, but never feels rushed. Readers would be better off reading the first book, Snowblind, but can jump in here without missing too much. (It’s important to note that, technically, Nightblind is the sixth book in Jonasson’s series, but it’s only the second book translated into English.)
Noir to its core, Nightblind is another chilling, top-notch thriller from Ragnar Jonasson, who is quickly developing one of the better crime series in print right now.
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Pages: 240 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.5/10