I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Whiteout today. I’ve read most of the Ari Thór series and loved it so there was no way I was going to miss out on taking part in this.
Blurb: Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the old house on the remote rocky outcrop?
With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and the secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.
Review: Ragnar Jonasson is very skilled at weaving stories that keep you reading and this one is no different. The mysterious death of a young woman and the subsequent discovery that her mother and sister died the same way throws up many questions for Ari Thór and the investigation. The scene is set before that when we meet all of the characters and learn a little about them before the death occurs. The characters themselves come across as a little odd, probably through years of living somewhere so isolated, but once the police investigation begins we begin to see how suspicion and questions affect them all. Due to the remoteness of the location there are only five characters and therefore, if it was murder, five suspects. This means we get an interesting insight into the psychological impact on each person of the unexplained death and the police looking at what happened to the victim’s family, 25 years earlier.
Despite the fact that there appears to be only two houses in the area and plenty of open spaces the story gives a very distinct feeling of claustrophobia. Most of the characters live in the same house with others able to visit easily which makes it feel as if they cannot escape each other which, of course, only adds to the increasing tension as the investigation continues and people get more irate or fed up of the police being involved.
It has echoes of locked room mysteries and stories such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, where all of the characters are confined to a small island and cannot escape while people keep dying around them. The tension that this confinement creates is fascinating, as is the effects that the ongoing police presence has and that is what makes this story one that you keep reading and are reluctant to put down. Every opportunity I had I was picking up this book, wanting to find out what happened next.
If you’re already a fan of Ari Thór you won’t be disappointed and if you love locked room mysteries or slow burn psychological stories then this is definitely the book for you.
Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 18 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.