Snow Blind

Snow BlindSnowblind by Ragnar Jónasson
Series: Dark Iceland #1
Published by Minotaur Books on January 31st 2017
Pages: 320
Format: hardback
Genres: Fiction, Police Procedural, Scandinavian and Nordic Mysteries & Thrillers
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four-stars


Synopsis


Where: A quiet fishing village in northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors. It is accessible only via a small mountain tunnel.
Who: Ari Thor is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik. He has a past that he's unable to leave behind.
What: A young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed elderly writer falls to his death. 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.
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.

My thoughts on this book

Endless days of gray sky set and snow set the stage for me to sit down to read Snow Blind, we haven’t seen the sun in days. Nestled in my comfortable chair in front of the fireplace, I settle into a small town close to the arctic circle were rookie Ari Thor has taken a his first position as a police officer. Shortly after his arrival, a local celebrity is found dead, Ari Thor is drawn to a woman who is not his girlfriend and a partially naked woman is found laying in the snow. While not an action packed thriller, the characters were well-developed holding my attention as the story slowing moved along, like the winter storm that had settled on Siglufjördur.

Frozen Assets

Frozen AssetsFrozen Assets by Quentin Bates
Series: Officer Gunnhilder #1
Published by Soho Crime on May 10th 2014
Pages: 330
Format: ebook
Genres: Fiction, Scandinavian and Nordic Mysteries & Thrillers
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four-stars


Synopsis


A body is found floating in the harbor of a rural Icelandic fishing village. Was it an accident, or something more sinister? It's up to Officer Gunnhildur, a sardonic female cop, to find out. Her investigation uncovers a web of corruption connected to Iceland's business and banking communities. Meanwhile, a rookie crime journalist latches onto her, looking for a scoop, and an anonymous blogger is stirring up trouble. The complications increase, as do the stakes, when a second murder is committed. "Frozen Assets" is a piercing look at the endemic corruption that led to the global financial crisis that bankrupted Iceland's major banks and sent the country into an economic tailspin from which it has yet to recover.

My thoughts on this book

It is interesting to read a murder mystery in a country where murder is all but non-existent, over the last two decades, an average of about two people have been murdered annually in the small and prosperous nation of 336,000. It has had entire years — 2003, 2006 and 2008 — when not a single person was murdered. Just recently, the murder of a 20 Icelander woman made the New York Times.

Iceland like the United States suffered the 2008 financial crisis, unlike the United States, the Icelandic government let its three major banks – Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbankinn – fail and went after reckless bankers. Many senior executives were jailed and the country’s ex-prime minister Geir Haarde was also put on trial, becoming the first world leader to face criminal prosecution arising from the turmoil. although he was cleared of negligence.

With the impending financial crisis as a backdrop Frozen Assets introduces Officer Gunnhildur, single mother, widow, police officer. After finding a body on a beach, Officer Gunnhildur does not accept the accidental death theory, she stumbles into a scheme that the energy minister and his wife are up too to make money at the expense of the taxpayer. Reading about police procedures in other countries is always interesting, unlike Arnaldur Indridason books, Quentin Bates books are not so dark and brooding. Be ready to be confused by the names.