blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Winterkill – Ragnar Jónasson*

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son.

A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air. Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street.

A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School.

In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines.

Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir.

Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after.

To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner.

He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

My thoughts:

This was really good, the snow closing in on a small town, an unexplained death, a teenage girl with secrets and a detective who just wants to spend time with his son.

Ari Thór is called out late at night to an apparent suicide of a young woman, it doesn’t appear suspicious, although the building she jumped from wasn’t her home. But he starts to investigate, while there might not be a crime, something caused her to leap to her death, and he wants to get an answer for her devastated mother.

His ex-partner and young son have just arrived to spend the Easter weekend with him, but he needs to solve the case. This struggle is what caused their break-up and he doesn’t want to risk alienating them further.

A blizzard sets in, trapping the locals in their small town and causing Ari Thór to struggle to get to the truth, when the power goes out. But he pieces the clues together to unravel a tragedy and find someone who is guilty, even if they didn’t kill anyone.

Gripping, claustrophobic, creepy (some of the characters were a bit sinister, like the father and son hiding out on an island), and clever.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour: Winterkill – Ragnar Jónasson*”

  1. I’m a Nordic noir series addict; I love Iceland and I really want to read more scans and Icelandic authors. But I read Snowblind when it came out, and found it really disappointing. The book had a lot of hype, but the story felt so bog standard and predictable, so I never tried the other titles. Maybe I prefer my Nordic noir on TV, but reading a review like this makes me wonder if I’m missing out…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s a case of trying different books and authors, some will work for you and some won’t. Orenda Books (who published this) have loads of Nordic noir to try and often have offers for 99p on their ebooks so you can try out new ones without spending too much. It’s what I do between tours. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s good to know! I am really keen to read more scandi/nordic writers. I think I’ve tried Nesbo and Mankel and also been disappointed by both; not in terms of the quality but perhaps my expectations as normally watching this sort of thing rather than reading it.

    With Winterkill, would you say you need to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy it, or can it stand alone?


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