cover image Nightblind


Ragnar Jónasson, trans. from the Icelandic by Quentin Bates. Minotaur, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-09609-8

Set five years after the action of Snowblind, Jónasson’s excellent second thriller featuring Ari Thór Arason to be published in the U.S. finds Ari Thór passed over for the position of inspector in the small Icelandic town of Siglufjördur, a setback mitigated by his reunion with his girlfriend, Kristín, and the birth of their son, Stefnir. When Herjólfur, the man who got the inspector’s position, dies after being blasted at close range by a shotgun near an abandoned house, Ari Thór’s former superior, Tómas, oversees the investigation. Ari Thór and Tómas step on some powerful toes as they follow leads pointing to the town’s mayor, Gunnar Gunnarsson; phone records show that Herjólfur called Gunnarsson late at night shortly before the attack. The mayor’s claim that the conversation was about traffic strikes the pair as implausible. Ari Thór soon begins to feel like a “stranger in a place where everyone was connected and no one could be trusted completely.” Jónasson plants clues fairly before a devastatingly unexpected reveal, without sublimating characterization to plot. Agent: David Headley, DHH Literary Agency (U.K.). (Dec.)