Review published on July 29, 2016.
I enjoy crime and thrillers and have recently been enjoying Nordic Noir. This book was not the suspenseful, page turner that I was expecting, however, I still enjoyed reading it and was sorry when I came to the end. The book starts with the discovery of a body in the far north of Iceland during the Arctic summer. After that, characters are introduced over the course of approximately half the book. They are believable and chapter by chapter we learn more about them, their past and what has brought them to the small town of Siglufjordur.
Normally, when reading crime fiction, I enjoy puzzling out who the perpetrator was, why they did it, and love the twists and turns of the plot. With Black Out this didn’t happen, but I did enjoy finding out about the characters.
Being set in a small isolated town there is also the small town gossip and everyone knowing everyone else and all about their lives. This affects the local police as well, one of them being related to one of the initial suspects.
As the story unfolds, so we see into the backgrounds of the characters. What they endured in the past as both children and adults and how this has affected them today. There are furher stories within the main story which really held my attention. In fact, by the end of the book I wasn’t so bothered by who the murderer was, as by how all the characters’ lives interacted with each other and what that meant for the present and the future. In many ways I would have liked the book to continue beyond where it ended to find out more about the future lives of those that I had been reading about.
Overall this was an extremely enjoyable read with many sub-plots that start to tie in with each other towards the end of the book.
Christine Constable 4/4
Black Out by Ragnar Jonasson
Orenda Books 9781910633465 pbk July 2016