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(Dark Iceland #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  12,857 ratings  ·  1,610 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published April 20th 2015 by Orenda Books (first published 2010)
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Danita L This is the chronological order of the stories as explained in the preface of Nightblind:

"The events of Nightblind take place approximately five year…more
This is the chronological order of the stories as explained in the preface of Nightblind:

"The events of Nightblind take place approximately five years after Snowblind . . . The next book in the series, Blackout, picks up the story directly after the events of Snowblind with the following two books, Rupture and Whiteout to complete the series of events linking Snowblind and Nightblind."


* * Fölsk nóta - Not set in Siglufjordur, but the first novel featuring Ari Thór Arason, as a young theology student looking for his missing father. (first published 2009)

1. Snowblind (Dark Iceland #1) (first published 2009)
2. Blackout (Dark Iceland #2) (first published January, 2011)
3. Rupture (Dark Iceland #3) (first published January 2012)
4. Whiteout (Dark Iceland #4) (first published October, 2013)
5. Nightblind (Dark Iceland #5) (first published October 1st 2014)

The original publication dates indicate the correct chronological story line. I don't know why publishers have to mess with the order of a story line.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.56  · 
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir, iceland
”She lay in the middle of the garden, like a snow angel.

From a distance she appeared peaceful.

Her arms splayed from her sides. She wore a faded pair of jeans and was naked from the waist up, her long hair around her like a coronet in the snow; snow that shouldn’t be that shade of red.

A pool of blood had formed around her.

Her skin seemed to be paling alarmingly fast, taking on the colour of marble, as if in response to the striking crimson that surrounded her.

Her lips were blue. Her shallow breat
Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Crime by the Book
Shelves: from-publisher
Oh boy, I officially have a major book boyfriend crush on Ari Thor (along with a large gaggle of other women no doubt). What started out as a slow burning noir suddenly turned into a twisty, fast-paced mystery around the half way point. This is technically listed as book #2 in the Dark Iceland series, but for those of us who are reading in english rather than icelandic, this is our beginning. The first third of the book does a nice job setting up our story; we get a good amount of the current st ...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is so incredibly cold here, near zero or below for several days. The perfect time to settle in with this story. Although here we are without snow. When newly commissioned police officer, Ari Thor grabs the job in Siglufjorour, the only offer on the table, his live in girlfriend refuses to leave Reykjavik. He sets out alone hoping to maintain a long distance relationship until she changes her mind.

He arrives in the small town, a town enclosed by mountains, people who all know each other, finds
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
An incredible mix of Scandi-noir and classic detective fiction.

The young policeman, Ari Thor, is a wonderful creation: intelligent, earnest, impulsive, unsure, self-reflective, troubled. So human in his thinking and behaviour. Jonasson's decision to make Ari Thor a newbie, both as a detective and member of the town, gives the character a fresh perspective, quite unlike most of the main protagonists in contemporary crime fiction. He is in charge of nothing and is frequently overruled in his opini
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this mystery very much, I read it in 2 days and I usually don't read that fast unless its really engaging. The atmosphere of northern Iceland, the cold, the darkness, the continuous snow, is recreated completely and you feel the main character's claustrophobia and isolation so strongly., that I wish I could give it 4 stars, but the writing is a bit like Hemingway's short choppy sentences, but unlike in Hemingway there is not any depth revealed.

We never really get inside the young poli
Liz Barnsley
Snowblind is one of the most beautifully written crime novels I have ever come across – the depth of character, the truly gorgeous descriptive prose that puts you right on the spot – despite the claustrophobic quality of the world that Ari finds himself in I fell utterly in love with Iceland simply through the words on the page.

Story is everything though really, no matter the book you are reading – and Ragnar Jonasson has written one hell of a story – dark, unrelenting in places, magically const
Genre: Mystery
Pace: Relaxed to slow

The first 70% of this story was so relaxed and slow that I kept falling asleep less than an hour into reading this story each time. I also lost count after ten of how many POVs there were. I didn't mind the relaxed pace of the story but some areas felt too draggy and that's probably why this story acted more like a sleep aid as opposed to a more thrilling crime novel.

The upside? There wasn't a million flashback scenes and the story was told from the beginning-
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scandi nordic crime fans
Recommended to Paula by: Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Here is a scandi-nordic crime series worth reading! Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson is the first novel in his Dark Iceland series. The setting is fantastic. The novel takes place in Northern Iceland in an old fishing village that only has one mountain pass to get into. During the winter avalanches happen on a regular basis and nobody can get in or out of the town, causing panic for some of it’s inhabitants, mostly those newly arrived. What’s really interesting is that everyone lives in complete dar ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the author's first to be translated into English. It was interesting, although mostly plodding along slowly. Much was made of the darkness, the snowy weather, and claustrophobia created by the surrounding mountains, but I didn't really feel it. I looked up Siglufjördur, Iceland on Apple Maps and it is a very isolated, small village near the Arctic Circle. That helped the atmosphere of the book. The crimes can be found in any old crime novel, but how they are handled in this book are ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will preface this by saying that I adore Nordic/Scandinavian mysteries. I like that they are slow, methodical, exacting and every single detail is important. I love that when I'm finished reading them I have learned something that I didn't know before either about the location, the people, an ethnicity, something. They aren't just another "I killed a woman with a gun, I'm a sick bastard," book.

That said, this is the American debut of the international bestselling author Ragnar Jonasson's myste
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, mystery
Darkness and snow… Darkness and snow…

I cannot pinpoint the reason for my 5 star rating for this book. Was it the atmosphere? Was it the imagery described so beautifully? Was it the writing style? The characters? The mystery?
Was it all the above?
All I know is that when I picked up the book it was mid-morning and by night time I had read more than half of it.

“Nothing ever happens here.”
That is what Ari Thór is told upon arriving to Siglufjörður, a small, peaceful village in Northern Iceland to beg
Zuky the BookBum
This review is a long time coming, considering I read it during my trip to Norway. Luckily, it was such a memorable read that I was able to still write a pretty decent review… I hope.

I was extremely excited about this. It’s the beginning of a well-loved Nordic Noir series which I thought would be great for me, however, I found the whole book infuriating, for many, many reasons.

My main irritation with the book, and you will probably already know if you follow my rants on Instagram, was the main c
Jul 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Superficial, thin, lame ending that you could see a mile off. Scandi-noir can be very dark and depressing but this doesn't even come close. Other reviewers state you can really sense the claustrophobic atmosphere in this book but that's probably because the writer keeps going on and on about the main character constantly feeling (you guessed it) claustrophobic! Too many other characters in a very short novel make the storyline confusing and hard to follow despite its simplistic plot. And the epi ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Blackout, the second of the Dark Iceland series published in the U.S., courtesy of NetGalley, I felt compelled to read Snowblind, the book that introduces us to Ari Thor Aranson as he he first comes to begin his police career in the northern Iceland village of Siglufjordur. In this small town, where fish used to be the way of life, the winter snow is a living, breathing presence that impacts function, emotion and even crime and solution.

The centerpiece of the story and the town is
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was seeing Snowblind everywhere. All over social media it was being talked about and I was kindly given an actual copy by the publisher which totally made my day .... so a huge thanks for that.

The book reads like an old fashioned whodunnit with great characterisations, twisty plotting that doesn't give much away and great place settings. It tells the story of Ari Thor, a newly qualified police officer, who accepts a position of work in a remote part of Iceland, Siglufjordur. A small fishing to
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Snowblind has been widely acclaimed this year. As soon as I started reading, I could see why so many readers had fallen in love with it. Snowblind is the first in a series of books by Icelandic author Ragnar Jonnason. It has been translated into English by Quentin Bates.

Snowblind takes us into a small isolated community in the north of Iceland, a place where everyone knows everyone and it takes forever for newcomers to integrate. Into this peaceful and dull environment, we follow Ari Thor a youn
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the protagonist's introduction as a new police officer in a tiny town in the arctic circle. I caught the feeling of claustrophobia in the heavy snowfall and isolation....and ended up finishing the book outside in the sunshine this afternoon. I liked the characters and the setting and I'd love to read the follow-up set in this town during Spring. Hopefully it will be released in the U.S. soon. ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Starting the new year off with a 2 star book...again. I added this one before it was published and waited forever for my library system to obtain it. It seemed odd to me that Boston Public didn't have this for years, but ultimately this story left me disappointed on all levels. Pedestrian writing that felt YA, drab characters, and sentences that didn't flow in English left me feeling bored.

2.5 stars
Barbara K
For me, another great new Nordic noir crime series, the second this year. (I also loved
The Chestnut Man, which recently won a Barry for Best First Crime Novel.) Snowblind is the first in a series and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Jonasson.

The setting is fabulous, a tiny village on a northern fjord that once thrived on the herring fishing industry but is now very quiet and sleepy. The only other Icelandic crime series I've read is by Indriðason, featuring Inspector Erlandur,
Laura Rash
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly I had hoped this book would live up to all the hype & it certainly did and then some! Written so fluidly you can turn the pages quickly & get immersed into Iceland within a few pages. A twist on a good old fashioned hometown mystery that was highly entertaining. I'm kind of glad I'm late to the game on this series bc now I can binge read them all at once!
Thanks to Minotaur books for this copy in exchange for review!
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jonasson
Snow Blind by Ragnar Jonasson.

I confess that I was hopeful in beginning this first in a series by Icelandic author since I had read all the Inspector Erlendur books also by an Icelandic author. My hopes were fulfilled.

Ari Thor has been sharing living quarters with his girl friend during their college years. Kristin and Ari Thor were more than compatible. They had serious thoughts of a future together. Then ari Thor receives an offer of a job with the police in a not so near area further north. K
Ari Thór Arason is a young police officer so keen to start his career that he accepts the first post he's offered – in Siglufjörður, a past-its-prime fishing village in a northern fjord. Leaving his girlfriend Kristín in Reykjavik, Ari Thór travels hundreds of miles north and finds himself in an intimate, old-fashioned community, accessible only by an ominous-looking tunnel and cut off from the outside world when it snows heavily (which it often does). His boss cheerfully announces 'nothing ever ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in a series, which is set in an isolated, rural community in Iceland. Our main character is Ari Thor, a young man who has given up studying for a theology degree and joined the police college. He lives in Reykjavik, with his girlfriend, Kristen, a medical student. However, jobs are scarce and, when he is offered a job in Siglufjordur, in the North of Iceland, he eagerly accepts. Kristen, understandably (although, Ari Thor seems unsympathetic to her point of view) is less p ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Snowblind is the first of his Dark Iceland quintet, with a pitch perfect translation by Jonasson’s fellow Scandibrit crime author, Quentin Bates, for the UK market. Snowblind has given rise to one of the biggest buzzes in the crime fiction world, and refreshingly usurps the cast iron grip of the present obsession with domestic noir. Introducing Ari Thor, a young police officer from Reykjavik, who takes up a posting in the small northern community of Siglufjordur, leaving behind not only the city ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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I first saw this book from Abby’s Crime by the Book Instagram account & tried to get my hands on it about a year ago & I couldn’t find it, so I moved on. This book is categorized as Nordic Noir & I believe Abby is a resident expert on the subject. I kept thinking about Snowblind & thankfully it was released in th
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Student Ari Thor is living in Reykjavik (Iceland) with his fiance. He has studied philosophy and theology but neither has helped him come to terms with his feelings of being alone in an indifferent universe following the death of his parents when he was a young boy. Now he is in the police academy and seems to have found his place. Much to the dismay of his fiance, he has been offered a job in a remote town, practically in the arctic circle. He goes, finding himself very much an outsider in this ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordic-noir
A slow start as different dates come at you with different characters & it takes a while for all the diffo parts/characters/timelines to sink in & you get in rhythm with the book. Even if the timelines aren’t that far apart & in sequence its a little choppy at the start as you try & pick folk & story threads out. Come 25 pages in i’m hooked & its a steady flow to the story as you explore the lives & landscape of Northern Snowy Iceland which seems a world away from Reykjavik which in turn (for me ...more
Judith E
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, nordic
This majestic Icelandic setting is isolated and raw, which makes it perfect for a murder mystery. ‘Wet behind the ears’ policeman, Ari Thor, has good instincts and slowly unravels two murders. Surprising relationships between residents in this near Arctic small town are exposed amidst twists and turns. The portrayal of small town life is accurate and the Icelandic political scene and financial troubles are very interesting. The ending leaves plenty of room for the next novel to resolve some dang ...more
First of Jonasson's books to be published in English. Ari Thor can't find his calling until he joins the police academy, and finds a position in a remote village on Iceland's northern coast, estranging him from his girlfriend. A celebrity dies and Ari suspects foul play. The beauty of this book is the author's portrayal of this small town's desolation, and the depth of the characters. Looking forward to the next one. ...more
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
“Nothing ever happens here.” That should have been Ari Thor’s first clue that something out of the ordinary was about to transpire. Eventually. I say “eventually” because Ragnar Jonasson’s Snowblind is not a fast-paced, action-packed thriller. I would hardly call it a thriller at all. It has been labeled “Nordic Noir,” and although I’m no expert, that is probably a better description.

This slowly developing story is set in Siglufjordur, a sleepy fishing village on the northern coast of Iceland. I
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Ragnar Jonasson is author of the award winning and international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia. Snowblind has been a paperback bestseller in France.

Nightblind won the Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Most

Other books in the series

Dark Iceland (6 books)
  • Nightblind (Dark Iceland #2)
  • Blackout (Dark Iceland #3)
  • Rupture (Dark Iceland #4)
  • Whiteout (Dark Iceland #5)
  • Winterkill (Dark Iceland #6)

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142 likes · 20 comments
“It had rained without a break since the middle of the afternoon, when the skies had finally started to clear. Ari Thór didn’t make a habit of going to the theatre, but still understood the excitement behind a good production. Tension in the air could sometimes be palpable, but never as overwhelming as it was that Friday evening in the Siglufjördur theatre. But this time there was no production taking place and the auditorium was empty. What he and Tómas – both of them on duty that night – could not avoid was the body. There was no doubt they were looking at a corpse; but Tómas still checked for a pulse” 2 likes
“The Icelandic tradition of reading a new book on Christmas Eve, and into the early hours of the morning, had been important in his family’s home.” 0 likes
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