Continuing with holiday gift ideas, this one is for those readers who enjoy a dose of noir, in this case, Icelandic noir.

Ragnar Jonasson introduced policeman Ari Thor Arason in last year’s Snowblind, quickly becoming a bestseller. He returns with the sequel Nightblind, which picks up five years after the events of the first book and continues Ari’s story in the small northern Iceland village.

With his mentor and boss, Tomas, given a promotion and living in Rekyakvik, Ari didn’t recieve the hoped-for promotion to Inspector to lead the team and has not gotten close to the man who landed it, Herjolfur. Recovering from the flu, he’s jolted out of bed by the man’s wife, who claims her husband never returned from a call out.

Ari finds his boss severly wounded in a remote location, and as the inspector is flown south for treatment, Tomas is seconded back to Siglufjordur to lead the investigation into who has taken a shotgun to a police officer.

It’s a tense time as the idea of a police officer being shot is unique in Iceland. All of the defenses of the people the two officers investigate come up and it’s difficult to make headway. Other secrets get in their way as the setting for the shooting was an abandoned house that is known as a spot for the local drug trade.

And at home, with a young son he adores, Ari is convinced his relationship with Kristin, his partner, is suffering. It will take him looking outside the box to piece together what really happened that fateful night as the deterioration of his relationship preys on his mind.

In true dark Icelandic noir fashion, the setting adds to the stark feel of the mystery as events from long-ago surface. Excerpts from an old diary add to the tension and heighten the story of domestic abuse in parellels.

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