Black0ut by Ragnar Jónasson
Best for: People looking for a bit of mystery set in an interesting place.
In a nutshell: Someone has been murdered, and the police and a highly motivated journalist are both on the story.
Why I chose it: I loved the first one in this series.
Ari Thor is a police officer living in a small town in far nothern Iceland. After someone is found murdered in a nearby town, he and his boss are called in to assist, as the victim lived nearby. As news comes out, journalist Isrun leaves Reykjavik to travel north and follow the story. She claims to have a tip, but she made it up, not knowing she might not be that far from the truth.
As in the first book, there are a lot of stories going on that may or may not be related. The story is also disturbing, and while I’m not going to get into details, the book should definitely have a trigger warner for references to sexual assault.
One thing this second book has convinced me of is that the main character Ari Thor is boring and an ass. He showed a bit of this in the first book when he just up and decided to move away without talking it over with his partner. In this one, he displays his jealousy and toxic masculinity more, and it did not amuse me. Basically, he’s an asshole. I can’t entirely tell, but I think the author wants us to like Ari Thor, and that’s fine. I don’t. But he features in only maybe 20% of the book, so it’s not a big deal. He’s more like the excuse for the story to exist as opposed to the main focus of it.
It’s entirely possible I’ve read this out of order, but I don’t think so. If you check Amazon, it calls this book three, but on the author’s website, I followed the Iceland release order, and it seems to flow directly from the previous book. I offer this up as a warning in case you choose to get into this series (Dark Iceland)