Today I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on Ragnar Jonasson’s Blackout blog tour. Blackout is the third instalment in the fabulous Dark Iceland series which picks up from where Ragnar’s debut novel Snowblind left off. As part of the blog tour I thought I would share with you part of the opening from Blackout.
Blurb: On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer’s night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person’s life hangs in the balance. Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjordur struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it s a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies…
Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson
Part 1: Day 1 Summer
‘How do you like Iceland?’ ‘If for nothing else, he had come to Iceland to avoid that kind of question. The day began well, as the find June morning dawned. Not that there was any clear difference between morning and evening at this time of year, when the sun stayed bright around the clock, casting blinding light wherever he looked.
Evan Fein had long anticipated visiting this island at the edge of the habitable world. And now here this Ohio art history student was, on his first visit to Iceland. Nature had pooled its energies, as if to add woes of the financial crash, by presenting Icelanders with two volcanic eruptions, one right after the other. The volcanic activity appeared to have subsided for the moment though, and Evan had just missed the events.
He had already spent a few days in Iceland, starting by taking in the sights of Reykjavik and the tourist spots around the city. Then he had hired a car and set off for the north. After a night at a campsite at Blönduós he had made an early start, setting out for Skagafjörður. He had purchased a CD of old-fashioned Icelandic ballads and now slotted it into the car’s player, enjoying the music without understanding a word of the lyrics, proud to be something of a travel nerd, immersing himself in the culture of the countries he visited.
He took the winding Thverárfjall road, turning off before he got as far as the town of Sauðarkrókur on the far side of the peninsula. He wanted to take a look at Grettir’s pool, the ancient stone-flagged hot bath he knew had to be somewhere nearby, not far from the shore. It was a slow drive along the rutted track to the pool, and he wondered if trying to find it was a waste of time. But the thought of relaxing for a while in the steaming water and taking in both the beauty of his surroundings and the tranquillity of the morning was a tempting one. He drove at a snail’s pace, lambs scattering from the sides of the road as he passed, but the pool stubbornly refused to be found. Evan started to wonder if he had missed the turning, and slowed down at every farm gate, trying to work out if the entrance to the pool might be hidden away – across a farmer’s land, or down a side turning, a country lane. Had he driven too far?
Finally he saw a handsome house, which on closer inspection, looked to be half built. It stood not far from the road with a small grey van parked in front of it. Evan pulled his car to the side of the road and stopped. And then started with surprise…’
If you want to know what happens next you’ll just have to buy your very own copy of Blackout which I would thoroughly recommend!
Blackout is published by Orenda Books and is out to buy now.
To buy this book on Amazon click here.
To buy this book on Waterstones click here.