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Ragnar Jonasson Books In Order

Publication Order of Dark Iceland Books

Snowblind (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nightblind (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blackout (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rupture (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Whiteout (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir Books

The Darkness (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Island (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ragnar Jonasson is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction, the most popular of which was the “Dark Iceland” series of novels that featured Detective Ari Thor. Jonasson was born in Reykjavik the capital of Iceland, where he has lived and worked for most of his life. In addition to being an author, Ragnar is also a lawyer and university professor teaching Copyright Law at the Reykjavik University. Prior to becoming a professor he also had a brief stint in television and radio and worked as a reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. His series of novels are set in Siglufjörur, the northernmost town in Iceland, which was home to his father and his grandparents. He would visit his parents and grandparents in the town and still makes time to go to Siglufjörur every year. He comes from a long line of authors as his grandfather was also a nonfiction author that penned the history of his hometown. He debuted his writing career with the writing of “Snowblind” that was published in 2009 to much commercial success as it went on to become a bestseller on Amazon Kindle in the US and Australia.

Ragnar’s works have been feted and won several awards over the years including the 2016 Morda Dead Good Reader Award, best crime novel by the Independent in 2015. With the novels attaining much popularity across the borders of his native Iceland, Ragnar sold the rights to translate the books into over 14 languages across the globe. The TV rights for the novels have been sold to “On the Corner”, the producers of Amy the Academy Award-winning documentary. Ragnar is an active member of the literary community and co-founded the “Iceland Noir” the Reykjavik international crime writing festival. He lives in Reykjavik though he gives lectures in many crime fiction writing panels across the world, and publishes for renowned magazines such as “Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine”.

Ragnar got interested in a literary career from a very young age when he translated fourteen of Agatha Christie’s novels into his native Icelandic by the time he was seventeen. Christie would go on to have the most influence on the budding author as he started reading her novels aged twelve. As a child he read her novels first in Icelandic before he transitioned into English and went on to become a translator. It is Agatha Christie’s strengths in setting and plotting that had some of the most profound influence on Ragnar Jonasson. Just like Christie’s “River Nile” or her “Orient Express”, Siglufjörur the setting of the novels is a novel about setting and plotting. Having spent much of his time in the town, he found it easy to write about its weather, its people and their quirks in such a convincing and believable tone that made his novels shoot to the top of the charts. Just like Agatha he tries to make the dark and tunneled mountain setting of Siglufjörur seem almost like a character. However, Jonasson asserts that he was also influenced by contemporary novelists such as S.S. Van Dine and Ellery Queen. The novels are thus a combination of the Golden Age with a contemporary and Nordic feel, which offers insights into life in Iceland with its magnificent landscape and laid back nature.

The lead character of the Dark Iceland series is Ari Thor, a twenty-something year old rookie detective that has just been posted to the town of Siglufjörour. Siglufjörour is a small town on the mountains near the Arctic Circle where everyone knows everyone. Isolated and only accessible through a dark tunnel bored into the mountain, it makes for a great setting for noir crime novel series. Ari Thor the lead character in the novels lost his parents when he was very young and had to fend for himself for much of his teenage and adult life. As such, he finds it hard to build any meaningful relationships with colleagues though he has the intelligence and a keen sense of justice that makes him very effective at his job. While he starts out very inexperienced, his capacity as a policeman develop over the course of the series as does his determination and will to stay the course. While he is very much the outsider that is affected by the dank and claustrophobic weather and treated with disdain, he gets on with his job.

“Snowblind” the first novel of the series is a gripping novel that is set in the idyllic village of Siglufjörur in Northern Iceland. It is a small village where everyone knows everyone and no one locks their doors. It is so isolated that the only access is through a tunnel cut into a mountain side. Ari Thor has just been posted to the small town as a policeman and is having a hard time of it, given that he finds it hard being away from the girlfriend that he left in the capital Reykjavik. Ari is suddenly dragged into the life of the community when a young woman is brutally murdered and her unconscious and bleeding body lefty on the snow. Not long after, an elderly writer and falls over and dies further complicating Ari’s job. With a dark past, he finds it hard to trust anyone in the community that turns out to have a lot of secrets. Things get thick when snowstorms close the mountain tunnel and Ari finds himself facing an increasingly personal, chilling, and complex investigation. A killer is on the loose, even as Ari struggles with his past and his present challenges with the weather and relationships.

“Nightblind” is the brilliant follow-up to “Snowblind” the first novel of the Dark Iceland series. Ari Thor the rookie policeman is still having issues dealing with the locals as the tension that emerged in the first novel still persists. The peace of Siglufjörour is suddenly shattered when Ari’s colleague is shot at point blank range in an out of the way house. The dark arctic winter is closing in and with a killer on the loose, Ari Thor needs to act fast to solve a puzzle of just who it may be. It is a tangled web that involves a compromised new mayor, local politics and a psychiatric ward that is rumored to have been the place where a missing person is being held. When a mysterious woman moves into the town with a complicated and dark history, Ari knows that he must up his game. The woman is running from a dark and chilling secret that may just take down the entire town with it.

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