Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Reykjavík by Ragnar Jónasson & Katrín Jakobsdóttir

First Lines: 1956. 6 August. The grey hat flew out to sea.
In 1956, the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Lára from the small island of Videy became Iceland's most infamous unsolved case. What happened to her? Is she still alive? 
Thirty years later, the city of Reykjavík is celebrating its 200th anniversary, and journalist Valur Robertsson begins his own investigation into Lára's case which garners a lot of public interest. However, as Valur gets closer to uncovering the secret, it becomes very clear that Lára's disappearance is a mystery someone is determined to keep unsolved.
Although Reykjavík took some time to really get moving, authors Ragnar Jónasson and Katrín Jakobsdóttir created a character and a story that kept me reading and guessing. 
The story begins in 1956 with fourteen-year-old Lára's disappearance and the young police officer who tried to find her. When journalist Valur Robertsson begins his own investigation thirty years later, he learns that the officer's inability to find  Lára has haunted him throughout his career. I was rather surprised that both Valur and the police officer felt a bit stiff and lifeless even though both their roles were so important.
However, the story really shifted into high gear and grabbed my interest when Valur's sister, Sunna, arrived on the scene. Her grit and determination added fire and urgency to the story, and I found myself hoping that I would meet her again in a future book. 
I can't say much about Reykjavík without giving away key plot points, but I was disappointed with my failure to deduce what was going on when all was revealed at the end. When you pick up a copy to read it for yourselves, make sure to read the authors' note at the end. You never know what writers will get up to in the middle of a pandemic!
Reykjavík by Ragnar Jónasson & Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
eISBN: 9781250907349
Minotaur Books © 2023
eBook, 384 pages
Historical Mystery, Standalone
Rating: B+
Source: Net Galley


  1. Ooh, now I'm intrigued, Cathy. I happen to have a soft spot for those cold cases from the past. And it sounds as though the book has a solid sense of atmosphere and setting, too. Glad you liked it!

    1. Yes, we both have soft spots for cold cases!

  2. I haven't read many collaborations before. Did this one feel like it was written by two authors rather than one? Did each take a specific POV or is there no obvious splitting of the narrative? I'm curious because I really like Jónasson's work and I'm unfamiliar with his partner.

    1. I would love to know why Blogger didn't publish my comment. It's a good thing I was checking some things and found out that my pearls of wisdom had disappeared into the ether.

      We see the story unfold through the POV of various characters, but the book felt as though it was written by one author. His writing partner is the Prime Minister of Iceland.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this one! :D


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