ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



February 2022



Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Fans of Icelandic crime fiction.

In a nutshell:
A young woman is found dead on a sidewalk, apparently having jumped from the balcony of a home. Or did she?

Worth quoting:
N/A. I just raced through the book.

Why I chose it:
Four years ago I picked up the first in the Dark Iceland series at the Iceland Airport. I immediately tracked down the rest of the books, and then read what I thought was the final (fifth) book. In a bookstore this weekend, I wandered over to the J section in Crime and saw there was a sixth!

I enjoy these books. They aren’t formulaic but they aren’t totally absurd either. Yes, there are often twists, and sometimes they are ones that I didn’t see coming, but also that are specific enough that it might be hard for anyone to see coming. That said, I always find them interesting.

Ari has gone from a new officer in the first book to the Inspector in charge of police in the town in the final one. We’ve followed his relationships and the birth of his son. He’s not the most complicated person, but he is interesting enough. The star of these books, however, is the way Jónasson writes about small town Iceland. Even in the spring, there’s a sense of claustrophobia, but not in a bad way. The people are mostly pretty typical, but they also all know each other, which makes keeping secrets a bit of challenge. Things are connected, and not always in the ways a reader might predict.

In this particular book, there are a couple of different storylines, which may or may not be related. Plus, Ari’s ex is visiting with his son, so there’s a slight romance angle as well. I believe this is now the final book in this series, as he Jónasson has moved on to create a new series (the first two books I’ve also recently procured). It’s a decent enough wrap-up to the books, and I’m glad I got another chance to see how Ari would handle a case.

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