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Mystery set in Siglufjörður – Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson 

  • Submitted: 8th November 2020

Icelandic charm with Ragnar Jónasson

Mystery set in Siglufjörður – Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson  – This is the last book in the Dark Iceland series. Booo! But before you cry, just think how good it will be to complete your collection. Ragnar Jónasson is a crime writer who just keeps getting better and if you haven’t read him, you really should. He has taken a small village in Iceland and totally made it his own. This is a remote, dark, wintery village you will never forget….

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Mystery set in Siglufjörður - Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson 

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A  Mystery to transport you to rural Iceland –  Siglufjörður

I was so happy to go back to Siglufjörður.  It feels like ages, but with the best places, once you go back you feel as if you haven’t left at all. The place is the same yet there are new people passing through, the same Ari Thor in the police trying to work with his new team members and a new mystery. There’s still the feeling of remoteness, snow and isolation yet there’s a new road bringing in a lot more outsiders.

Ooh but this time we go outside of the town and visit Siglunes, an even more remote place. When the characters in the novel go here, I felt genuine trepidation…..

Mystery set in Siglufjörður - Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson 

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Ari is of course the central character and he’s troubled. His son and ex-partner are back in town and he’s having to manage the complications that go along with that as well as a new and strange case he’s working on. A girl has been found dead outside an apartment block in the town. The owner is away in the city, so who is this girl and how did she get into the apartment? Why was she there? How did she die?

The investigation is deliciously complex and sensitive. Ari visits the parents, talks to her friends and suddenly, slowly, the real reasons for this girl’s death become clear. It’s a twisted case where the witnesses are strange, the girl’s friends distant and then there’s the man, a visiting artist, who ‘just happened to be in the area when the body was found’.

Mystery set in Siglufjörður - Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson 

This was a multi-layered and very deep mystery with many more threads to it than I first realised. It’s quite a short novel too, so it really does pack a punch! The writing is sharp, the plotting clever ( but the case is very sad!) and the translation brings this to the fore. Kudos to David Warriner for translating this from the French. Other novels have been directly translated from the Icelandic but you can’t tell the difference.

Aaah, how I’ve missed Siglufjörður. Ari shows us just how this place has changed, yet how it has also stayed the same. He doesn’t like the extra tourists, that’s for sure. He talks and grumbles about the famous tunnel which connects the town to the outside world, and the snow which keeps it apart.

Recommended!

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