Publisher Maxine Hitchcock and senior commissioning editor Rebecca Hilsdon bought UK and Commonwealth rights from David Headley at D H H Literary Agency. Reykjavik will be published in the UK in August 2023.
Katrin Jakobsdóttir has been Prime Minster of Iceland since 2017. Hailing from a family of prominent Icelandic poets and academics, she wrote her Masters dissertation on Icelandic crime writing. She and Jonasson are long-time friends, and first worked together nearly 10 years ago as part of the jury for an award for the best crime fiction in translation in Iceland.
Reykjavik is a dual-narrative crime novel, following two strands of a mystery 30 years apart. In August 1956, a 14-year-old girl called Lara disappears from the island of Vidney, just off the coast of Reykjavik, and becomes Iceland’s most infamous unsolved case. In 1986, as Reykjavik celebrates its 200th anniversary, tabloid journalist Valur digs into her death.
Jakobsdóttir said: “It was a real pleasure and a thrill to write this crime novel, set in Iceland in 1986, with my friend Ragnar Jónasson. When the world is full of extreme challenges, it can be quite beneficial for the soul to stay for a moment in a fictional world belonging to another era and write about sordid crimes.”
PMJ has previously published Outside, The Girl Who Died, and the Hidden Iceland trilogy, all authored by Jonasson alone.
He said: “In early 2020 I had lunch with Katrin Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s Prime Minister, and suggested that it might be fun writing a crime novel together.
“We have really enjoyed working on this story, set in Iceland in the 1950s and 1980s, and are looking forward to sharing it with readers. It’s been a dream come true to work with Penguin in recent years, and I am so excited that they will be bringing this story to a wider audience, with the help of our wonderful translator Vicky Cribb."
Hitchcock commented: “We are so delighted to have another incredibly atmospheric and thrilling novel from Ragnar Jonasson, who is fast becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed crime novelists, and to welcome Katrin Jakobsdóttir to Penguin Michael Joseph.
“Both Ragnar and Katrin are devoted aficionados of the crime genre and combining their voices has added up to a novel that will enthral readers across the globe. The publication of Reykjavik will be a true event.”
From The Bookseller article | Lauren Brown4