“It is undeniable that she is a strong influence on my own writing – is there any crime writer that isn’t influenced by her in some way? But beyond the delight that the books can stir in any reader, translating them meant I was able to fully comprehend her exceptional technical skill. No other writer constructs plots so well. Her surprises are in jigsaw pieces. Her twists so simple and elegant that the tricks are fair: the clues are all there.” – Ragnar Jónasson
A welcome return to the festival to Ragnar Jónasson, the Icelandic translator of Agatha Christie, and who beginning at the age of 17, translated 14 books into Icelandic. He has described how figuring out how to translate one Christie plot into an Icelandic idiom took over 10 years. The process was likely a formative one, as he has since become an international best-selling novelist and pioneer of “Icelandic noir”, writing the Dark Iceland series, with his last novel Rupture, just published. The atmosphere of the small, remote tight-knit fishing town of Siglufjörður, where his Dark Iceland books are set, is vital to their tone. In conversation with the Greek playwright, journalist and screenwriter Niki Orfanou, Jónasson discusses the influence of Christie and the particular significance of landscape and environment to his own books and working as a European crime writer today.
“Ragnar Jónasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty – a must-read addition to the growing canon of Iceland noir.” Peter James