Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Review: Black Out by Ragnar Jonasson

Title: Black Out
Author: Ragnar Jonasson
Series: Dark Iceland, #3
Published: July 2016, Orenda Books
Format: Paperback, 247 pages
Source: Personal copy

On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer's night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person's life hangs in the balance. Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjordur struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it's a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies...

Dark, terrifying and complex, Blackout is an exceptional, atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland's finest crime writers.

My thoughts: This is the third book in Ragnar Jonasson's Dark Iceland series and I really do love this series. I've decided that this year I am determined to finish this series as it has been sitting on my shelf for far too long.

One of my favorite aspects of this series is just how atmospheric and tense the writing is and Ragnar really uses that to his advantage. The ash from the recent volcanic eruption that was darkening what should be a time of 24-hour light really added a dark layer to this story on top of the murder and the secrets that Ari Thor found himself investigating. And the storyline involving the journalist added an extra layer of intrigue. I loved the way it all wrapped up together, winding back and forth to keep you on your toes so that you weren't quite sure where it was heading. I had no idea who the guilty party was and it kept me flipping the pages to find out.

Because the order of these books is somewhat confused in the English translation, there seems to be some discrepancy in how they have been marketed over here in the states. And so book 2, which is set 5 years after book 1 gives a bit of a spoiler, if you will, to some of the events that happen in this book, which happens quite soon after the events of book 1. I don't think in the end it's necessarily a bad thing, as you can see the evolution of things leading up to where they ended up now, but it does require a little bit of resetting if you read them back to back.  

This is such a dark, twisted story that is layered and filled with twists to keep you flipping those pages. It is complex and filled with secrets. I had my guesses but never ended up with the right one.

I cannot recommend this series enough and I excited to continue on with the next book. Have you given this series a try?

Books in this series:

  1. Snowblind
  2. Nightblind
  3. Black Out
  4. Rupture
  5. White Out


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