Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson
Best for: People who enjoyed his first three books.
In a nutshell: A young woman has fallen off (or jumped? Or been pushed from?) cliffs in the north of Iceland. The twist? Her sister and mother died at those same cliffs 25 years ago. So … what happened?
Why I chose it: I clearly have found a genre I love — Icelandic mysteries. And since something like 10% of the population of Iceland will write a book at some point, my guess is once I finish with his last book (sadness), I can move on to another similar author.
Asta has decided to return to the home she lived in when she was younger, when her father managed the lighthouse. When she was seven, her mother fell from the cliffs. Or perhaps was pushed? Then soon after, Asta’s sister falls from the same cliffs at only five years old. Asta’s father ends up in psychiatric care, and she is raised by an aunt.
At the home near the lighthouse, two older folks live, having kept the house for over 40 years, since their own mother was housekeeper there. The owner is a prominent businessman who inherited it from his father. A neighbor helps out as well, and all are together when it is revealed that Asta has died.
Was it an accident? Did she jump, following in her mother’s and sister’s footsteps? Was she pushed for what she may have known? Police officer Ari Thor and his wife travel to the town just before Christmas at the request of Ari’s former boss down in Reykjavik, as he needs help, and Ari doesn’t want to leave his pregnant girlfriend behind right at the holidays.
Really the only thing I didn’t enjoy in this book was the absence of Isrun, the journalist who has featured fairly prominently in the previous two books. But even with her missing, the book was a quick and enjoyable read.