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Summary

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. Author of the best-selling Dark Iceland crime series, Ragnar Jonasson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1976 and works as a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

Before becoming a writer, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic and has had short stories published in international literary magazines. Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers' Association (CWA) and recently set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA, in Reykjavik. He is also the cofounder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir, which was selected by the Guardian as one of the 'best crime-writing festivals around the world'. Ragnar has appeared on panels at festivals worldwide, and he lives in Reykjavik with his wife and daughter.

©2015 Ragnar Jonasson (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"Is King Arnaldur looking to his laurels? There is a young pretender beavering away, his eye on the crown: Ragnar Jónasson." (Barry Forshaw)

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What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    63
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hugely atmospheric setting & palpable tension!

What did you like most about Snowblind?

The narration brought the story and setting to life for me perfectly! The reader conveys a brilliant sense of place and his slightly chilling narration adds to the tension the listener feels. I would hope this narrator continues with future books. I felt all the claustrophobia and anxiety of Ari Thór living alone in the remote fishing village and Smowblind became compulsive listening. I really could have finished this in one sitting (believe me, I would have liked to)!

A clever plot and some distinctive characters kept me thoroughly engaged and this certainly rates as one of my favourite Audible listens since joining.

What did you like best about this story?

It captured perfectly the plight of Ari Thór - rookie cop, remote posting, far away from his girlfriend and how very isolated he felt. I liked the character and the fact that I felt drawn to him certainly made for an emotionally involving listen.

Which character – as performed by Thor Kristjansson – was your favourite?

Certainly Ari Thór - he is at the heart of this story and Thór Kristjansson manages to convey every emotion he feels superbly, ensuring that I really cared how this book ended. Secondly, I did love the portrayal of Tomas as the gruff sergeant in charge of Ari Thór.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Every bit as dazzling as the title implies!

Any additional comments?

A clever plot, low on blood and gore for the more gentle listener. Without a doubt one of the crime fiction debuts of 2015 and the narration makes for a hugely satisfying listen.. Definitely one of my favourites since joining. Do not miss out - a gem!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nice Story

It is a nice crime story - worth the time.
Unfortunately the narrator is terribly monotonous. A scream of frustration and an intimate declaration of love is narrated in the exact same tone and pitch. The second star is for the narrators excellent pronunciation of Icelandic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bit slow

It's a good story with multiple threads to it, I just felt it took a while to get going - this may have been down to the way it was read however, the 'reader' had no emotion in his voice at all and didn't change his voice for the different characters. For this reason I found it hard to get into and difficult to empathise with any of the characters as it felt like they were all lacking in emotion and feeling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

interesting story, maddening narrrator

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would change this narrator and will avoid anything narrated by him in future

How could the performance have been better?

By substituting someone else!

Any additional comments?

The story is atmospheric, and an interesting depiction of rural Iceland . The icelandic narrator, however, whispers (yes, really), and pauses so often in the wrong places that I almost gave up listening out of annoyance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Really wanted to like this...

...but the narration made it impossible. Soporific and not enough distinction between characters or parts of the story, which caused me to continually wonder what was going on. Given the simplicity of the story, that shouldn’t have been possible. I will try the next one in the series to see if it improves with a change of narrator.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A really chilly tale

Really enjoyed the story ,but the natrator was a irritating at times when attemting to voice female characters

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Atmospheric and beguiling story

First experience of this author- will revisit.
Complex well-imagined tale with authentic characters which conveys the beauty and isolation of figures in this remote landscape.

The frequent use of the word “captivating” to describe several female characters grated with me- Editor- wonder if this happens in other book in this series!

Narrator’s voice well modulated and pleasant pitch and tone with ( presume Icelandic as his first language) the pronunciation was occasionally difficult to understand with the hesitant and staggered delivery on a few occasions. Audio recording could be improved here- narrators’ breathing heavy ? Too close to mic?

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Distracting performance put me right off

What disappointed you about Snowblind?

The performance of the narration. Very tedious and boring, even by Scandinavian standards. There's laconic then there is - well - boring. Couldn't tell you what it was about because I could not get into the book because of the narration. Will try to read it in the book form when I get time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Started off so well, disappointing ending

This book started of with such promise, interesting characters, bleak yet beautiful setting which was well described. There was a great build up, but then the ending was a bit a a damp squib, like the author ran out of steam.

As for narration, I agree it suited the landscape and setting well. Very evocative, but sadly I sometimes couldn't work out which character was speaking because whatever was happening or whomever was speaking he narrated in the same voice.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • Addlestone, United Kingdom
  • 17-02-17

Atmospheric scandi noir

At time somewhat slow but a story with many angles to keep you guessing. Well executed and decent performance.