Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading


Dark Iceland series (book 1)

SnowBlind Cover copy 2

This book is included in The Icelanders Cometh crowdfunding campaign run by the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to raise money for UK libraries to spend on titles translated into English by Icelandic authors to mark World Book Night and UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.


Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.

Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind.

When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.

An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal.

Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.

Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.


‘Ragnar Jónasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty – a must-read addition to the growing canon of Iceland Noir.’ Peter James

‘Seductive … an old-fashioned murder mystery with a strong central character and the fascinating background of a small Icelandic town cut off by snow. Ragnar does claustrophobia beautifully.’ Ann Cleeves

‘Ragnar Jónasson’s Snowblind is as dazzling a novel as its title implies and the wonderful Ari Thór is a welcome addition to the pantheon of Scandinavian detectives. I can’t wait until the sequel!’ William Ryan

‘A truly chilling debut, perfect for fans of Karin Fossum and Henning Mankell.’ Eva Dolan

‘An isolated community, subtle clueing, clever mis-direction and more than a few surprises combine to give a modern day Golden Age whodunnit. Well Done! I look forward to the next in the series.’ Dr John Curran

Snowblind brings you the chill of a snowbound Icelandic fishing village cut off from the outside world, and the warmth of a really well-crafted and translated murder mystery.’ Michael Ridpath

‘The complex characters and absorbing plot make Snowblind memorable. Its setting – Siglufjörður, a small fishing village isolated in the depths of an Icelandic winter – makes it unforgettable. Let’s hope that more of this Icelandic author’s work will be translated.’ Sandra Balzo

‘In Ari Thór Arason, Nordic Noir has a new hero as compelling and interesting as the Northern Icelandic setting.’ Nick Quantrill

‘A truly remarkable mesmerising debut. Loved it.’ Rana Asfour, bookfabulous

‘This has all the ingredients – a young policeman, a girlfriend left behind, murders both old and new for solving together with the intertwining of relationships within a small community as it goes through a snowbound dark winter. An absorbing read and one I didn’t put down.’

‘If a Golden Age crime novel was to emerge from a literary deep freeze then you’d hope it would read like this. Jónasson cleverly squeezes this small, isolated town in northern Iceland until it is hard to breathe, ensuring the setting is as claustrophobic as any locked room. If you call your book Snowblind then you better make sure it’s chilling. He does.’ Craig Robertson

‘If Arnaldur is the King and Yrsa the Queen of Icelandic crime fiction, then Ragnar is surely the Crown Prince … more please!’ Karen Meek, EuroCrime

‘Ragnar Jónasson brilliantly evokes the claustrophobia of small-town Iceland in this intriguing murder mystery. Let’s hope this is the first of many translations by Quentin Bates.’ Zoë Sharp

‘Ragnar Jónasson is simply brilliant at planting a hook and using the magic of a dark Icelandic winter to reel in the story. Snowblind screams isolation and darkness in an exploration of the basic Icelandic nature with all its attendant contrasts and extremes, amid a plot filled with twists, turns, and one surprise after another.’ Jeffrey Siger

‘A chilling, thrilling slice of Icelandic Noir.’ Thomas Enger

‘A stunning murder mystery set in the northernmost town in Iceland, written by one of the country’s finest crime writers. Ragnar has Nordic Noir down pat – a remote small-town mystery that is sure to please crime fiction aficionados.’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

Snowblind is a brilliantly crafted crime story that gradually unravels old secrets in a small Icelandic town … an excellent debut from a talented Icelandic author. I can’t wait to read more.’ Sarah Ward, Crimepieces

‘Is King Arnaldur Indriðason looking to his laurels? There is a young pretender beavering away, his eye on the crown: Ragnar Jónasson …’ Barry Forshaw

‘An intricately plotted crime novel, Snowblind is a remarkable début. Ragnar Jonasson has delivered an intelligent whodunnit that updates, stretches, and redefines the locked-room mystery format. A tense and thrilling book that paints a vivid portrait of a remote town in long-term decline, facing the chilling aftershocks of the global financial meltdown. The author’s cool clean prose constructs atmospheric word pictures that recreate the harshness of an Icelandic winter in the reader’s mind. Destined to be an instant classic.’ EuroDrama

Snowblind is a beautifully written thriller, as tense as it is terrifying – Jónasson is a writer with a big future’ Luca Veste