Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.
Huge thanks to Karen at Orenda for the opportunity to listen to this audio book.
Whiteout was sublime listening. A tale of Iceland at Christmas time and the audiobook wonderfully conveyed a feeling of chilled darkness.
In a very remote settlement a young woman has been found dead at the foot of a steep cliff. Ari Thor Arason is drafted in to help his former boss investigate the circumstances surrounding her death. Suicide seems likely but when it is discovered that the woman’s mother and sister both died in the same spot it merits a little more investigation.
If the potential suicide is actually a murder then there are very few suspects – three residents in the house she had been visiting (all three older than the dead woman) and in the neighbouring house resides a couple who were roughly of ages with the deceased. None appear to have any possible motive for wishing her dead, she has not been in their company for over 20 years so why can murder not be ruled out?
Unpicking the mystery of this unusual death will be a challenge but it makes for excellent reading. Masterful teasing out of clues, slow reveals and clever, clever plotting by Ragnar Jonasson kept me hooked. I have always been a fan of the Dark Iceland series but Whiteout is easily my favourite thus far, it was quite brilliant.
The audiobook was narrated by Leighton Pugh and he does a terrific job. Character voices were easily identifiable and perfectly fitted how the players had been described in the text. The story flowed around me as I listened and I felt transported to the craggy cliff edges, the stone lighthouse and the old houses where the five suspects tucked away their secrets.
Whiteout is set at Christmas and I discovered so many wonderful Icelandic traditions whilst listening to the book. Hearing about the Christmas Messages, the gifting of books and other heartwarming memories contrasted sharply with the investigation into a death – my sadness accentuated at the timing of a life lost.
Whiteout is published by Orenda Books and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook format.
You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whiteout-Dark-Iceland-Ragnar-J%C3%B3nasson-ebook/dp/B06Y6HWP9Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1510871147&sr=1-1&dpID=51j8pDxoAML&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch