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Nightblind: Dark Iceland #2    by Ragnar Jonasson Amazon.com order for
Nightblind
by Ragnar Jonasson
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Nightblind follows Snowblind as the second in Ragnar Jonasson's Dark Iceland series. That first book introduced Ari Thor Arason, an unusual young rookie police officer, as he accepted a job in the remote fishing village of Siglufjordur in northern Iceland. Ari's girlfriend Kristin, a medical student in Reykjavik, was not happy about his decision. Like most fictional detective heroes, Ari Thor wrestles with his own demons - when he was thirteen his mother died and his father disappeared, leaving him haunted and rootless.

As Nightblind opens five years later, Ari and Kristin are together, with a small son, Stefnir, who keeps them up at nights. Ari is off work with flu. Kristin works part-time at a nearby hospital, and has become distant recently. Ari's old boss and mentor, Tomas has moved south to the capital and an outsider, Herjolfur appointed as inspector. Not for long though. Called out to an ancient, broken-down house, Herjolfur is shot. Soon, Tomas is recalled to lead the investigation. Herjolfur's wife Helena seems barely affected by the news of his shooting and his son (who has the same name) tells Ari that his dad was at the old building on a dope case.

While all this develops, readers are given insights into the journal entries of someone in a psychiatric institution - how will they be involved in the plot? And what do the new mayor Gunnar Gunnarsson and Elin, the assistant he brought in (and is involved with) have to do with it? Tomas shares the rather sinister history of the scene of the crime with Ari - one of twin brothers who lived there was found dead, assumed to have fallen from the balcony. All these plot threads grow thicker as Ari investigates. At the same time, his personal situation worsens as he learns why Kristin has been acting strangely.

As we expect, we learn the identity of the individual in the psychiatric ward. Ari solves the case, but he also agrees with a local who suggests to him that 'Sometimes the truth needs to rest in peace'. I look forward to spending more time with Ari Thor Arason in Siglufjordur.

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