It is summer in northern Iceland, but the 24 hour sunlight is blotted out of the sky by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption. The darkness is a constant reminder of the darkness of the human heart.
A man is found in a peaceful fjord, brutally beaten to death. Who is the dead man? Why was he beaten and killed? Such a murder stretches the limited capacity of the local police. A young reporter from Reykajvik leaves the comfort of the big city to investigate in Siglufjordur on her own.
The Siglufjordur police struggle with personal problems while trying to understand and solve this horrific crime. They also suspect that time is of the essence. They don’t want more bodies in their little town, but the foreboding blackout from the volcanic ash suggests there will be more.
This is, apparently the third book in a series. I’m not sure which characters are consistent through the books. It doesn’t seem like it should matter … the story feels mostly self-contained in this one volume. But at the same time, it feels as though there is something else happening that we’re not being let in on.
I’ve been fascinated by the dark literature of Scandinavia in general and Iceland in particular, and I really thought that this book would fit right into this very specific type of thriller. But it didn’t.
Except for the beginning, which did a wonderful job of setting up the crime and getting me interested in reading more, I found the book to be quite dull. I never really understood who the different characters were and their personal stories seemed to conflict with the plot rather than merge with it. The pacing all felt very even (again, with the exception of the opening) and I never gained the excitement, the thrill, I expect when reading a thriller of this sort.
This one really didn’t work for me, and I will attribute it to the fact that I haven’t read the first books in the series.
Looking for a good book? Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson is the third book in a series and one probably needs to read the previous books. As a stand-alone this doesn’t thrill.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Blackout: A Thriller
author: Ragnar Jónasson
series: Dark Iceland #3
hardcover, 248 pages