I am on my literary travels again but this time in Iceland; still, I believe considered Nordic.
I’m writing this somewhat isolated on my continuum of not going anywhere as I am advised to rest and not to drive due to my recent head injury. I suppose therefore I feel mildly like Ari Thor does when he accepts his first police job in an isolated and close-kit community; there the similarities end as here right now as I write the sun is shining.
Doing a job in the police is not easy in any circumstances and I sympathise a little with Ari Thor as I was once a special constable in coastal Hampshire. Where I was based was literally a walk in the park compared to Siglufjördor with it’s ice, wind, mountains, perpetual nighttime and blizzards to the point of there being no way out.
I like Ari. I had a long-distance relationship 10 years ago which didn’t work out. I had also moved for a new job which enabled me to start a new life which I am now happily enjoying but new surroundings, new people, new job and a different pace of life – these are a challenge.
The Book of the Blog
We first meet Ari Thor in Reykjavik when he finishes Police college and gets the opportunity to start his first job in the former Icelandic hub of herring fishing. He leaves his girlfriend behind on bad terms to take up the position where ‘nothing happens’ according to his new boss. He plans to go home at Christmas but events turn against him in this respect and in parallel with that he starts to have feelings for a local girl, with links to the cast of characters, who could be enmeshed in the investigation.
Ari finds himself trying to fit into the tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Then something happens! A famous local writer is found dead after rehearsals for the local amateur dramatic society’s latest production. Which one of the group is guilty? He does feel trapped when the roads are blocked and the onset of the winters’ 24 hour nighttime closes in on him.
To add insult to injury in the town where they are now all stranded due to the weather another violent crime has been committed – a woman is found stabbed and bleeding.
I read this book some time ago with enthusiasm in fact during a hot British summer so a stark contrast to the book’s setting.
The plot is built cleverly as there are only a few people who could have perpetrated the crimes and it all comes to a not obvious conclusion in this well written and engaging novel. I think it does make it more sinister as you never really know if he is safe walking around in the deep snow and perpetual dark. Who can he trust?
As I always say you’ll have to read it yourself! I can only finish by dangling the carrot for the next instalment NightBlind which is out in late this year/early 2016. I can’t wait!
- Nordicana 2015 where I bought the book
- Quentin Bates the translator a writer in his own right
- Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books
- Ragnar Jónasson last but certainly not least for a brilliant book that had me frozen to the spot at times.
- Goldsboro Books from whom I got a double-signed copy