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Summary

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kalfshamarvik. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thor Arason discovers that the victim's mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, 25 years earlier....

©2017 Ragnar Jonasson (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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

Dark Christmas Chills

Whiteout was sublime listening. A tale of Iceland at Christmas time and the audiobook wonderfully conveyed a feeling of chilled darkness.

In a very remote settlement a young woman has been found dead at the foot of a steep cliff. Ari Thor Arason is drafted in to help his former boss investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. Suicide seems likely but when it is discovered that the woman’s mother and sister both died in the same spot it merits a little more investigation.

If the potential suicide is actually a murder then there are very few suspects – three residents in the house she had been visiting (all three older than the dead woman) and in the neighbouring house resides a couple who were roughly of ages with the deceased. None appear to have any possible motive for wishing her dead, she has not been in their company for over 20 years so why can murder not be ruled out?

Unpicking the mystery of this unusual death will be a challenge but it makes for excellent reading. Masterful teasing out of clues, slow reveals and clever, clever plotting by Ragnar Jonasson kept me hooked. I have always been a fan of the Dark Iceland series but Whiteout is easily my favourite thus far, it was quite brilliant.

The audiobook was narrated by Leighton Pugh and he does a terrific job. Character voices were easily identifiable and perfectly fitted how the players had been described in the text. The story flowed around me as I listened and I felt transported to the craggy cliff edges, the stone lighthouse and the old houses where the five suspects tucked away their secrets.

Whiteout is set at Christmas and I discovered so many wonderful Icelandic traditions whilst listening to the book. Hearing about the Christmas Messages, the gifting of books and other heartwarming memories contrasted sharply with the investigation into a death – my sadness accentuated at the timing of a life lost.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Let down by accents

Narrative would have been more acceptable if Leighton Pugh had not attempted some of the voices, accents are not his strong point.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I really wanted To like this....

To be succinct I found the story waffly in parts (The middle just kept on going) and also I was really hoping for a European/ Scandi sounding accent, rather than Yorkshire man!
Every time I heard rainier’s voice I thought of moomin papa!

As much as I really wanted to like this, it just wasn’t top-quality enough.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nike
  • Devon
  • 30-12-17

Quite listenable

Ghastly story Fairly well written God price. Thanks a lot for this book and well reading

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping close room-esque

Gripping. A limited number of characters are involved in a death or deaths spanning a long period of time. I listen in the hope that the killer would eventually be caught. On a isolated peninsular or headland is a house and a lighthouse on cliffs. Close by is a farmstead, the weather is cold, there is snow and a bitter wind too...

Leighton Pugh is an excellent narrator, not that I know how to pronounce these Icelandic names, but he does a convincing job and tells a good story.

I have bought all of the Ari Thor series on Audible and look forward to more. There is also the back story of Ari Thor and his police colleagues to be told, I hope.