Book Review: Outside

OUTSIDE | Ragnar Jónasson
06.28.2022 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Four friends. One night. Not everyone will come out alive . . .

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. Those dark memories could hold the key to the mystery the friends now find themselves in. And whether they will survive until morning . . .

I absolutely love Ragnar Jónasson’s writing! He is one of my most read Nordic Noir authors and I’m always looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next. Most of my reading has been with his various series’, so it’s always nice to snag a standalone book. 

Outside kicks off with an intense scene involving our four friends discovering something that unsettles them in an isolated hunting lodge where they’ll be trapped waiting out a snowstorm. Cue the claustrophobia! Jónasson then jumps the story back in time to the start of our friend group’s trip, which allows readers to get to know each of them and feel out the tension that is brewing between them. I loved this structure because I knew something was coming, but I wasn’t sure when or what, so it was fun to feel that sense of anticipation throughout. 

Jónasson smartly lets the story unravel through alternating narratives between each of the friends, allowing readers to get a bird’s eye view into their thought processes. Let me just tell you now, this group is messy. You might not like any of them, but you definitely are going to be invested in where their chaos is headed. Given that the story is condensed to take place over only a few days, you don’t have to wait long for the drama to ratchet up!

A huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my gifted copy!

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