Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson


I was very excited to receive a copy of Blackout, the third book in Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series which is translated by Quentin Bates. I read and loved the two previous books in the series, Snowblind and Nightblind (review here). The events of this third installment take place in-between those in Snowblind and Nightblind, and I couldn’t wait to get started!

‘He continued to stare out of the window in the hope that he would somehow be presented with an answer to his dilemma: do the right thing, save a life but face the inevitable consequences; or keep everything to himself and live with his conscience for the rest of his days.’

One of the things that I like about the Dark Iceland books is the setting and in Blackout that is no different. Jonasson does a great job of creating a chilling, claustrophobic atmosphere and although this book is set in the summer months an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption has cast darkness over the town of Siglufjordur. Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues are tasked with investigating a brutal murder after a man is found beaten to death. So begins this complex story filled with shady dealings and secrets as Ari Thor begins to uncover the story behind the murdered man, to untangle a web of dark secrets and sinister events…

‘The shadow of winter and the heavy snow that would engulf the town as the long days turned into long nights was never far away in Siglufjordur.’

As with the previous books in the series the story is gripping from the start with lots of shocking secrets to uncover along the way. There are numerous threads to this story which are all interwoven to create an increasingly perplexing case which proves a struggle for Ari Thor and his colleagues to solve. In addition, he has his own personal issues to contend with and along the way we see his difficult relationship with former girlfriend Kristin. The story is made even more interesting with the addition of Isrun, a young reporter who, having previously been restricted to the more mundane, trivial stories is now determined to get to the bottom of this case. And it soon becomes apparent that there are a few people connected to the case who have things to hide as Ari Thor and Isrun each track down the deceased’s acquaintances to establish why he came under attack. As the novel progresses the secrets begin to emerge and the shocking events so long confined to darkness are brought to light.

‘She had seen stars, their light so bright that she had not seen the sinister shadow they cast – a shadow she should have taken care to avoid.’

I really enjoyed Blackout, once again it is a gripping, atmospheric mystery packed with fascinating, complex characters with plenty of secrets to uncover. I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Rupture, when it is published next year!

Blackout is to be published as a print edition on 30th August 2016 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.

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