(Review) Blackout, Book 3 of Dark Iceland by Ragnar Jonasson

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Publisher and Publication Date: Minotaur Books. Originally published in 2011. Published in the English translation 2016.
U. S. edition, August 2018.
Genre: Mystery, detective.
Pages: 272.
Source: Library.
Rating: Very good.
Audience: Readers of mystery/detective stories.

Books in the series of Dark Iceland:
Nightblind-Book 1
Snowblind-Book 2
Rupture-Book 4
Whiteout-Book 5

It’s confusing about when the books were published in English versus when they were published in Iceland.  The order in Iceland is Snowblind 2010, Blackout 2011, Rupture 2012, Whiteout 2013, Nightblind 2014.

Author page at Amazon: Ragnar Jonasson.

The books were written in the Icelandic language and later translated to English for publication.

Website for Ragnar Jonasson.

To give you a little info on the country of Iceland. The population in 2017 was 341,284. The country is 39,769 square miles. The capital and largest city is Reykjavik. Iceland is a Nordic Island, and a Scandinavian country. For further information: Britannica.

Summary:
An American art student traveling in Iceland discovers a dead body near the road. Ari is the police inspector for the case. A woman named Isrun is the journalist who is to covering the story. Other police inspectors are Tomas and Hlynur. During the investigation, the personal stories of characters are explored.

My Thoughts:
Until now, I’ve not read a book about Iceland. It’s a bit of a mystery to me. An island that has the name of ice in it. A place that seems so remote and sparse in information from the news, I had to read a book about this country, even it’s a work of fiction.
I still don’t know how to pronounce the names correctly.
The focus of the book is solving the crime of a man who was murdered and found near the roadside. However, I loved the personal stories of the journalist and police inspectors. The characters are dimensional, because they are shown for the imperfect humans they are; both their positive and negative traits are shown.  They each carry burdens and scars from their past.
A theme that runs through the book is the work of criminals goes on everywhere. Iceland is considered a country where violent crime is rare. However, the story shows evil manifests everywhere.
There is a secondary mystery story. I love it when there are secondary/understories amongst the main story. This keeps me even more interested in the reading the book.
Through the descriptive scenes, I was given a visual picture of what Iceland looks like.
The closure of Blackout left me with both a sense of unanswered questions but a deep sadness. A sadness because not all of the characters have happy endings.
I’m definitely interested in reading more Ari Thor Thriller books in this series.

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(Review) Threads of Suspicion: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case (Book 2) by Dee Henderson

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Publisher and Publication Date: May 2, 2017. Bethany House Publishers.
Pages: 429.
Genre: Christian fiction, mystery, detective.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: Good.

Dee Henderson’s website

The first Evie Blackwell Cold Case book is Traces of Guilt

Summary:
Evie Blackwell is a cold case investigator with the Illinois State Police. She recently began working in the Missing Persons Task Force. She has a new partner, David Marshal. David’s girlfriend is Maggie, a popular singer in a band known as Triple M. David is a Christian and hopes to marry Maggie. Maggie is not a Christian, and because of this David is holding off on marriage. Evie has a boyfriend named Rob. They too are contemplating marriage. David and Evie are working on a case involving the disappearance of Jenna Greenhill. When David and Evie interview people who knew Jenna, they get strong reactions of intense like or dislike.

I don’t read Christian fiction often. Most Christian fiction books I find are unrealistic. In order to maintain a clean content, the stories are void of the realness of life. The topics in the books are real, but things are stripped or omitted that give the reader a believability to the story. The characters seem pasty and inhuman. Some Christian publishers and authors are able to pull off a believable story, and some authors miss the mark.

My Thoughts:
An interesting element in Threads of Suspicion is a Christian engaged to an unbeliever. David Marshall wants to marry Maggie. Maggie is not a Christian, and David makes the decision to post-pone marriage for a while. They are still in a relationship, but he will not marry a person who is not a Christian. David shows patience and tender love for Maggie. His feelings for her did not change, but he was not going to progress to marriage unless she became a Christian. To an outsider, a person who is not a Christian, this attitude and action of David seems cruel. The topic of religion in marriage is huge. Eventually there is going to be a showdown between a married couple about religion. I feel this topic is an interesting add to the overall story. The characters, David and Maggie, are loving and gracious to one another. This shows Christian teachings of love and grace. Another Christian teaching: “Don’t become partners with those who do not believe. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14, CSB. On one hand, I am glad David and Maggie acted loving to one another. However, I wanted to see turmoil. I needed to see intense friction.

I enjoyed reading the interesting and insightful conversations between Evie and David. David is a smart guy. He is both intelligent and wise. Several things he said in the story stood out to me. For example, “Life is mostly captured in the decisions we make, the choices, the pivots.”

The details of gathering and studying information to solve the case is shown to be a slow and steady progression. Patience is required to be a detective. A good eye for detail is important. These things were brought through in the story and created a solid piece for this detective mystery story.

Overall, Threads of Suspicion is an enjoyable read.