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Blackout: An Ari Thor Thriller (The Dark…

Blackout: An Ari Thor Thriller (The Dark Iceland Series) (original 2011; edition 2018)

by Ragnar Jónasson (Author)

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10512170,520 (3.56)16
Title:Blackout: An Ari Thor Thriller (The Dark Iceland Series)
Authors:Ragnar Jónasson (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2018), 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Iceland, Murder

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Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson (2011)



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Set in between the first and second books, the story idea was interesting but reading it was a slog. ( )
  Perednia | Apr 14, 2019 |
One advantage to being so far north in Iceland, as Ari Thór is, is that the ash cloud generated by the Eyjafjallajökull eruption doesn’t put much of a damper on the arctic summer. But darkness lurks in Siglufjörður nonetheless. A man is found murdered on a construction site, and Hlynur, Ari Thór’s colleague, is tormented by a secret from his past.

This is a steady novel, maintaining a suspenseful pace and smoothly shifting between different perspectives and timeframes. I felt uneasy about one particular thread, but fortunately this thread came up only later in the book and was not dwelt on for much time. Props to Quentin Bates for another great translation!

I’m looking forward to continuing the Dark Iceland series with Rupture. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 10, 2019 |
Best for: People looking for a bit of mystery set in an interesting place.

In a nutshell: Someone has been murdered, and the police and a highly motivated journalist are both on the story.

Why I chose it: I loved the first one in this series.

Ari Thor is a police officer living in a small town in far nothern Iceland. After someone is found murdered in a nearby town, he and his boss are called in to assist, as the victim lived nearby. As news comes out, journalist Isrun leaves Reykjavik to travel north and follow the story. She claims to have a tip, but she made it up, not knowing she might not be that far from the truth.

As in the first book, there are a lot of stories going on that may or may not be related. The story is also disturbing, and while I’m not going to get into details, the book should definitely have a trigger warner for references to sexual assault.

One thing this second book has convinced me of is that the main character Ari Thor is boring and an ass. He showed a bit of this in the first book when he just up and decided to move away without talking it over with his partner. In this one, he displays his jealousy and toxic masculinity more, and it did not amuse me. Basically, he’s an asshole. I can’t entirely tell, but I think the author wants us to like Ari Thor, and that’s fine. I don’t. But he features in only maybe 20% of the book, so it’s not a big deal. He’s more like the excuse for the story to exist as opposed to the main focus of it.

It’s entirely possible I’ve read this out of order, but I don’t think so. If you check Amazon, it calls this book three, but on the author’s website, I followed the Iceland release order, and it seems to flow directly from the previous book. I offer this up as a warning in case you choose to get into this series (Dark Iceland) ( )
  ASKelmore | Nov 21, 2018 |
Just got bored with it. The writing was so-so. The plot was so-so. ( )
  EdGoldberg | Nov 8, 2018 |
Ragnar J_nasson's "Blackout," translated by Quentin Bates, is set in Iceland in June 2010. Inspector ArÌ_ Thor Arason, his colleague, Hlynur ̍sksson, and their superior, TÌ_mas, keep the peace in the isolated northern town of Siglufj̦rÌ¡ur. One day, a tourist finds the dead body of thirty-four year old ElÌ_as Freysson, who was beaten to death by an unidentified assailant. ArÌ_ Thor and TÌ_mas interview the victim's landlady, friends, and colleagues to find out if Freysson had been involved in anything nefarious. Another central figure is ̍sr̼n, an ambitious reporter whose condescendiing boss treats her dismissively. In spite of him, she is determined to make her mark as a television newswoman.

The novel's tone is desolate. A volcanic eruption has covered the southern part of the country in ash, forcing the residents to breathe in acrid air. In addition, most of the characters are unhappy for one reason or another. TÌ_mas misses his wife, who is studying down south in ReykjavÌ_k; ArÌ_ Thor bitterly regrets his breakup with his ex-girlfriend KristÌ_n, whom he still loves; and Hylnur, who as a child was a vicious bully, is filled with fear and self-loathing, especially since he has begun receiving threatening emails from an anonymous source. Adding to the angst-filled atmosphere, a beautiful woman is brought from Asia to Iceland-- ostensibly to work in a hotel--but gets an unwelcome surprise when she arrives at her destination. There are also a number of flashbacks that shed light on the impact of past events on the present.

This dispiriting tale focuses on some of humanity's most negative traits: selfishness, jealousy, lust, rage, and greed. There are few compassionate individuals to be found in these pages. ArÌ_ Thor is a competent detective, but he is immature and egotistical. In addition, and there are other opportunistic men and women whose first priority is to protect their own interests. JÌ_nasson crams everything into "Blackout" but the kitchen sink. This book's catalog of misery includes rape, suicide, abduction, medical malpractice, serious illness, and child abuse. Too many melodramatic elements, a lack of humor, and an overly cluttered plot make this a dreary and melancholy mystery.
( )
  booklover915 | Oct 9, 2018 |
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Published 3rd in the series but set before the events in Book 2
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On 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.… (more)

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