This is the second in the Icelandic crime series featuring Ari Thor Arason, former resident of Reykjavik, now a policeman in Siglufjordour, a fishing village in Northern Iceland. It takes place several years after Snowblind (my review is here), with Arason now a father, and well established in the community.
A shocking shooting sets the scene aflame, with interest from afar, and Arason’s former boss sent in to help deal with the inevitable crisis. The tale is interwoven with diary extracts from a patient in a mental asylum, and the plot is spiced up with some local political chicanery.
Slowly, but assuredly, the plot and mystery are unraveled, with the tension just right. It may at time seem somewhat slow, but I would prefer to describe it as steady. This book is like a fine whisky – to be appreciated with small sips, and not knocked back in a shot glass.
The characterization is solid, the backdrop engrossing – and better than the first novel – and the whole thing is a well crafted package, ably assisted by an excellent translation.
(The third in the series, Blackout, is set between Snowblind and Nightblind. Some may prefer to read the books in chronological order, but I will not offer a view till I have read the third.)