“Recently translated from Icelandic, Snowblind is the first in what promises to be a series of crime novels.”



Ari Thor is a former theology student turned police officer living in Reykjavik with his girlfriend. he is offered a position in Siglufjordur, a small, isolated fishing village in northern Iceland, where you could live for 20 years and still be considered an outsider if you weren’t born there.

Leaving his girlfriend behind, Ari Thor makes a new start. He is reliably informed by his colleague Tomas that nothing ever happens here. And it seems to be that way until the suspicious death of a local author occurs. Even so the local police force and townsfolk find it very difficult to believe this could be anything but an accident. But when a woman is found close to death in the snow, attitudes have to change.

Ari Thor is a brilliantly drawn character, very likeable and different to the usual police officer/detective character in that he is young and inexperienced. His personal life is in turmoil and his professional life isn’t much better. As an outsider he is given no respect and his opinions don’t matter. He is a police officer with no power. But when he starts putting pieces of the jigsaw together people have to start taking notice.

All the supporting characters have great depth in this closed circle crime book which is reminiscent of Agatha Christie with all the secrets and lies and the isolation of the suspects. This is a brooding, atmospheric book; with the darkness and constant snow there is a claustrophobic feel to everything, which is heightened to the nth degree when there is an avalanche and the one road in and out of the village is blocked.

Despite all the darkness, Iceland comes across beautifully and the descriptions of Siglufjordur had me scampering to the computer to google images of the place which is now on my wishlist of places to visit.

A quick mention has to go to Quentin Bates who has done a brilliant job translating this book from Icelandic to English.

Snowblind is the first novel in a new series and is published by Orenda books. It is fabulous and I am looking forward to the next one.


Reviewed by:

Sandra Foy

Added 19th May 2015

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Sandra Foy