Hello, Book Dragons! Today I would like to welcome you all on my stop of the Blog Tour for Winterkill (Dark Iceland) By Ragnar Jónasson and I would like to share an extract from the book, with all of you. Thank you very much to Anne from Random Things Tours for the invitation. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Police Procedurals
Release date: 10 12 2020
Price*: Kindle £3.79 (GBP)/ Hardback £9.33 (GBP)
Kindle $7.49 (USD)/ Hardback $24.95 (USD)
Pages: ~ 240
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: When the body of a nineteen-year-old girl is found on the main street of Siglufjörður, Police Inspector Ari Thór battles a violent Icelandic storm in an increasingly dangerous hunt for her killer … The chilling, claustrophobic finale to the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.
Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.
Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.
Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…
As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.
Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.
The Extract from the book:
On receiving Ari Thór’s go-ahead, the paramedics lifted the lifeless body of the young woman onto a trolley and rolled it into the ambulance, leaving nothing but a gruesome red pool on the pavement, a chilling remnant of what had happened. Under the glow of a streetlight and amidst the shadows of the night, the blood looked almost too bright to be real. For a second Ari Thór thought the scene looked like a theatre set.
Now he turned to the man who had been standing in the background, barely moving a muscle, keeping his head down. ‘Good evening. You must be Gudjón?’
The man nodded before murmuring a hesitant ‘yes’.
‘I’m Inspector Ari Thór Arason. Can you tell me what happened? Was it you who called the police?’
‘Yes. Well, I called the emergency number, but I didn’t really know what to say. I don’t have a clue what happened.’
The words seemed to make him short of breath. He kept rubbing his beard as he spoke, and his eyes darted from side to side, without meeting Ari Thór’s.
Ari Thór listened and waited. It was too soon to launch straight into another question. Experience had taught him that people who were nervous, as Gudjón seemed to be, tended to fill a silence.
‘I just, well, found her like that, just lying there. At first I thought she had fallen. Slipped and fallen on the street, I mean. I went over and was about to help her get up when I noticed … when I realised she was dead. Then I called the emergency services – straight away.’
‘Did you touch anything?’ Ari Thór asked after a brief pause.
‘I … I can’t remember. Maybe I gave her a little shake to make sure, but it seemed so obvious that she was dead.’
Ari Thór nodded. ‘Did you notice anyone else in the vicinity?’
‘No, there was no one else around. Only me. It was quite a shock to see her lying there. Do you think she jumped?’
‘It’s hard to say right now,’ Ari Thór replied, then pursued his line of questioning. ‘It’s four in the morning now, so you were out and about at around three-thirty, is that correct?’
‘Yes, yes, that’s right.’
‘Why was that?’
‘I was just out for a walk, that’s all.’
‘In the middle of the night?’ Ari Thór raised an eyebrow.
‘I find the cold invigorating. The skies are clear, and there’s not a breath of wind, just the fresh sea air to fill your lungs. It’s a joy to wander the streets in this weather.’
Ari Thór wasn’t convinced, though, to be fair, he often went for a walk around town after dark, too – not that he was going to admit that to Gudjón. There was something about the silence that descended on these streets in the dead of night. That damned, elusive silence.
‘Day and night?’
‘I prefer to walk at night. It’s quieter. More soothing for the soul.’
‘Do you live in Siglufjörður, Gudjón?’
‘I do at the moment, yes. I’m here for three months, on an artist’s retreat.’
‘And where are you staying?’
‘There’s an artist’s residence not far from here, on the waterfront, just on the edge of town.’
‘And have you been here long?’
‘Since January,’ Gudjón replied. Now he seemed to be feeling the chill of the night. It looked like it was making him uncomfortable.
‘I see,’ Ari Thór said, marking a pause. ‘What’s your discipline?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘What’s your artistic discipline? Painting, or music, for example.’
‘Painting. Yes, painting. Well, I paint, and I draw. Perhaps you saw the posters for my exhibition the other day. Landscapes of Siglufjörður. They’re all for sale.’
‘No, I must have missed those. Do you know her?’
‘The dead woman.’ Gudjón shivered. ‘What? No, of course not. I have no idea who she is … er, was. Why would I know her? I’m not from round here.’
‘What makes you so sure she was a local?’
‘I … well, how am I to know? I don’t know what you’re insinuating. All I did was call the police. I’ve never seen that young woman before.’
‘You have to admit, Gudjón, it’s a bit strange to be wandering around in the middle of the night.’
‘I’m an artist, for heaven’s sake!’ he protested, as if that word could justify all manner of quirks and sins. His breath was coming in fits and starts, and he was struggling to string his words together. ‘Look, I walk the streets at night to find inspiration, then I go home and I draw. I sleep in the daytime. You’re welcome to … come over and look at my work if you like. That way you’ll see I’m not lying to you.’
‘That won’t be necessary for now, but I’m sure I’ll be in touch as the investigation progresses,’ Ari Thór explained. ‘However, I would ask that you come by the station later today so we can take a formal statement.’
Gudjón’s reluctance was palpable. ‘Is that really necessary? I’ve got nothing to hide, but to be perfectly honest, I have absolutely no desire to be grilled by the police any more than I have been already.’ Still struggling to catch his breath, he added: ‘The only … the only thing I did was my civic duty, when I picked up the phone to call you, all right?’
‘Listen, a young woman – perhaps she was still just a teenager – is dead, and you discovered her body. We have to take your statement for the purposes of the investigation. We have no reason to assume that you might have somehow been involved in her death.’ Ari Thór was reluctant to sugar-coat his words too much; he still wasn’t entirely satisfied with Gudjón’s explanation.
‘Well, I certainly hope you’re not going to accuse an innocent bystander of any wrongdoing!’
Gudjón was still huffing and puffing when Ögmundur turned the corner onto Aðalgata, at the wheel of his little red Mazda, an older, sporty convertible that could still turn heads. A low-slung car like that wasn’t the most practical in the snow, but after a few days of unseasonably mild temperatures and rain, the streets were clear that night. He parked across the street and ran over to Ari Thór and Gudjón.
‘Sorry to keep you waiting, I came as quickly as I could. Do you think she jumped?’
His eyes darted down to the pool of blood, then up to the balcony on the roof.
‘Thanks, I appreciate it,’ Ari Thór said. ‘This is Gudjón Helgason. He was out for a night-time stroll when he stumbled upon the body. I’ve asked him to come down to the station later. When he does, would you kindly take his statement, Ögmundur?’
‘Of course, I’ll take care of it.’ Ögmundur smiled and reached out to shake the man’s hand. ‘Hi, Gudjón. Nice to meet you. My name’s Ögmundur. I’m a police officer here.’
‘That will be all for now. You’re free to go on your way. Thank you for your cooperation.’ Ari Thór dismissed Gudjón with a curt nod.
Ögmundur’s informal tone when speaking to members of the public was something that got on Ari Thór’s nerves, though he had to admit it often helped to loosen their tongues.
‘Enjoy the rest of your walk,’ he added, through gritted teeth.
Hauled out of bed in the middle of the night when he was already deprived of sleep, Ari Thór was struggling to put on as cheerful a face as the young rookie.
About the author: Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer and teaches copyright law at Reykjavík University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, from the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie’s novels. He is an international Number One bestseller. The Darkness is the first novel in his Hidden Iceland series, to be followed by The Island and The Mist.
Website:http://ragnar-jonasson.squarespace.com/ / Facebook: @ragnarjonassonwriter / Twitter: @ragnarjo / Instagram: @ragnarjo
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