Review: Nightblind by Ragnar Jónasson

Title: Nightblind
Author: Ragnar Jónasson
Pages: 240
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Minotaur

Rating: 3 stars

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Minotaur via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: In a small village in Iceland, the new police captain is murdered, and Ari Thór is on the case. Ari has only been a resident for a few years and still isn’t on steady ground with the villagers, many of whom come from families that have lived in Siglufjördur for generations. His old police captain Tómas has come back into town to assist with the investigation. The investigation leads them in several different directions, including a look in to the new mayor and his deputy mayor, both of whom are new to town as well. Meanwhile, Ari’s relationship seems to be falling apart and he can’t ascertain why his wife is so distant. In the end, all comes to a head.

Review: The story itself had a lot of potential, but ultimately, I felt it wasn’t fleshed out enough. The transitions were choppy, there was no build up of anticipation, and the mood was rather stifled. The emotion and intensity I would have expected was completely lacking. And there wasn’t enough explanation to justify certain things. Like this idea that Ari and his wife had grown apart from each other after returning to work from taking parental leave. He JUST returned back to work when this case hit. A case that took a short period of time to solve. After spending MONTHS together focusing on their new son. In that short period, she had time to feel neglected and disconnected enough to start thinking about another man? I think not.

And the misdirects weren’t quite slick enough. I knew pretty early on what the deal was, and any hints at alternative perpetrators weren’t strong enough to convince me.

BUT. The weird thing is? I would like to read more. Not “chomping at the bit, when can I get the next one, I can’t wait” kind of want. But despite all my knit-picking, I want another taste. Maybe it’s because I see the potential and know how good it could be with a bit of tweaking. Hard to know exactly. But, I’ll definitely give Mr. Jónasson one more try before passing final judgment.

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