Snowblind (Dark Iceland) - Quentin Bates, Ragnar Jónasson

This book ...


I admit, I´m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment and my chronic sinusitis makes me really grumpy, so my criticism might be a bit harsh. Or this book might be that badly written as I perceive it to be.


It starts off with a prologue, in which the authors tries to create an atmosphere:


The red stain was like a scream in the silence.

The snow-covered ground was so white that it had almost banished the winter night´s darkness, elemental in its purity.


Few people were about. Most people stayed indoors, happy to enjoy the weather from behind a window. It was possible that some of them had decided to stay at home after the death at the Dramatic Society. Tales travelled swiftly and the atmosphere was heavy with suspicion, in spite of the town´s peacuful outward appearance. A bird flying over the town would not have noticed anything unusual, would not have sensed the tension in the air, the uncertainty and even the fear, not unless it had flown over the little black garden in the middle of the town.

The tall trees surroundingthe garden were in the winter finery, taking on shadowy shapes in the darkness that were reminiscent of clowns rather than trolls, decked in delicate white from the ground up, in spite of the snow weighing down some of their branches.


Well, that´s a whole lot of blah, blah, blah. The prologue ends with an injured woman lying in the snow:


She lay in the middle of the garden, like a snow angel.

From a distance she appeared peaceful.

Her arms splayed from her sides. She wore a faded pair of jeans and was naked from the waist up, her long hair around her like a coronet in the snow; snow that shouldn´t be that shade of red.

A pool of blood had formed around her.

Her skin seemed to be failing alarmingly fast, taking on the colour of marble, as if in response to thew striking crimson that surrounded her.

Her lips were blue. Her shallow breath came fast.

She seemed to be looking up into the dark heavens.

Then her eyes snapped shut.


She seems pretty dead to me. How she has enough energy to snap her eyes shut is beyond me, though.


From this point we go about half a year back in time and we get introduced to Ari, former philosophy/theology student, who now is about to become a police officer. He just moved together with his girlfriend in Reykjavik and when Ari takes on a new job in a very remote town in Iceland without asking his girlfriend first, tensions arise between these two. And ... I don´t care. And tbh, these informations about Ari would have fit into a single paragraph, instead the author is droning on about it over three chapters.


He does the same for another character, a woman called Ugla, who apparently has lost her boyfriend and who has befriended an elderly man in the town where she is living now. I don´t know how she ties into the overall story (which at this point still is non-existent) and quite frankly, I don´t care.

And then there are some weird chapters in between, in which a women apparently gets held at knife point. Don´t know who that woman is, either. And again, I don´t care.


One less book on my physical shelf, one more book for charity.