Ragnar Jonasson is the award-winning Icelandic author of the bestselling Dark Iceland series, the Hulda Trilogy, and standalone crime fiction.
Ragnar is a lawyer who works as an investment banker and teaches copyright law at the University of Reykjavik who started in the crime fiction genre by translating 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.
How to read Ragnar Jónasson’s Books in Order?
The Dark Iceland Series in Order
- Fölsk nóta (2009) – Not available yet.
- Snowblind (Snjóblinda, 2010) – Where: An isolated fishing village in the fjords of northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors. Who: Ari Thór is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavík. What: A young woman is found lying half naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed elderly writer falls to his death. Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.
- Blackout (Myrknætti, 2011) – On the shores of 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. Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjordur struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit.
- Rupture (Rof, 2012) – Young policeman Ari Thór tries to solve a 50-year-old murder when new evidence surfaces. But the case proves difficult in a town where no one wants to know the truth, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight.
- Whiteout (Andköf, 2013) – Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop? With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier.
- Nightblind (Náttblinda, 2014) – The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by a murder. One of Ari Thór’s colleagues is gunned down at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark Arctic waters closing in, it falls to Ari Thor to piece together a puzzle that involves a new mayor and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavik. It becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all.
- Winterkill (Vetrarmein, 2020) – 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.
The Hidden Iceland Series in Order
- The Darkness (Dimma, 2015) – The body of a young Russian woman washes up on an Icelandic shore. After a cursory investigation, the death is declared a suicide and the case is quietly closed. Over a year later Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavík police is forced into early retirement at 64. She dreads the loneliness and the memories of her dark past that threaten to come back to haunt her. But before she leaves she is given two weeks to solve a single cold case of her choice. She knows which one: the Russian woman whose hope for asylum ended on the dark, cold shore of an unfamiliar country.
- The Island (Drungi, 2016) – Autumn of 1987 takes a young couple on a romantic trip in the Westfjords holiday-a trip that gets an unexpected ending and has catastrophic consequences. Ten years later a small group of friends go for a weekend in an old hunting lodge in Elliðaey. A place completely cut off from the outside world, to reconnect. But one of them isn’t going to make it out alive. And Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is determined to find the truth in the darkness.
- The Mist (Mistur, 2017) – 1987. An isolated farm house in the east of Iceland. The snowstorm should have shut everybody out. But it didn’t. The couple should never have let him in. But they did. An unexpected guest, a liar, a killer. Not all will survive the night. And Detective Hulda will be haunted forever.
Ragnar Jónasson’s Standalone Novels in Publication Order
- The Girl who Died (Þorpið, 2018) – Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track. But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to just ten people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.
- Outside (Úti, 2021) – When a deadly snowstorm strikes the Icelandic highlands, four friends seek shelter in a small, abandoned hunting lodge. It is in the middle of nowhere and there’s no way of communicating with the outside world. They are isolated, but they are not alone . . . As the night darkens, and fears intensify, an old tragedy gradually surfaces – one that forever changed the course of their friendship.
- Reykjavík: A Crime Story (co-written with , 2023) – Iceland, 1956. Fourteen-year-old Lára decides to spend the summer working for a couple on the small island of Videy, just off the coast of Reykjavík. In early August, the girl disappears without a trace. Time passes, and the mystery becomes Iceland‘s most infamous unsolved case. What happened to the young girl? Is she still alive? Did she leave the island, or did something happen to her there? Thirty years later, as the city of Reykjavík celebrates its 200th anniversary, journalist Valur Robertsson begins his own investigation into Lára’s case. But as he draws closer to discovering the secret, and with the eyes of Reykjavík upon him, it soon becomes clear that Lára’s disappearance is a mystery that someone will stop at nothing to keep unsolved . . .
If you like our Ragnar Jónasson reading order, you may also want to check out the Wallander series, our guides to Jo Nesbo’s books or Hakan Nesser. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.