The Darkness – Ragnar Jonasson (Hidden Iceland #1)


The Darkness is published by Penguin on 22 March 2018 and is available to buy here

Before Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is forced into early retirement she is told to investigate a cold case of her choice, and she knows just the one.

A young woman found dead on remote seaweed-covered rocks. A woman who was looking for asylum and found only a watery grave. Her death ruled a suicide after a cursory investigation.

But Hulda soon realizes that there was something far darker to this case. This was not the only young woman to disappear around that time. And no one is telling the whole story.

When her own force tries to put the brakes on the investigation Hulda has just days to discover the truth. Even if it means risking her own life . . .

Spanning the icy streets of Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is an atmospheric thriller from one of the most exciting names in Nordic Noir.

My thoughts

Fans of Nordic noir will instantly recognise Ragnar Jonasson. His Dark Iceland series has won him many fans. He is an exceptional storyteller, with an eye for detail and complexity. He has moved from small town claustrophobic drama to something a little bit different in his Hidden Iceland trilogy. The Darkness is every bit as clever, as his previous work. That ending is pure genius.

Initially it may seem that The Darkness is rather simplistic. We have an investigation into the case of young Russian asylum seeker. If that is all that you see, you have missed the point. I don’t think we are meant to be concentrating completely on the case. Our focus should be Hulda, a rather unconventional and tenacious woman, approaching retirement.

The Darkness is a beautiful, dark and rather compelling character study of Hulda. It also caused moments of laughter. Black humour is very much appreciated. Jonasson takes a 64 year old woman, who is working her last few days before retirement. Well done, Mr Jonasson, for featuring such a strong female lead in this age group. Most unusual! Hulda is a police inspector, who wants to end her career on a high. However her boss tells us to take it easy in the last few days of her service and encourages her to find a cold case and relax. Hulda chooses her case and sets off to find the answers. She doesn’t take advice well. By the end of the novel, we have formed a very clear vision of the character of Hulda. She is wonderful. It would be fair to say Hulda chose poorly and picked the wrong case. Events start to spiral out of control, in her life. Oh dear! Poor Hulda.

I cannot wait to see where Ragnar Jonasson takes us next, in this trilogy. I understand that we see more of the delightful Hulda, at an earlier point in her career. How very intriguing.








About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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1 Response to The Darkness – Ragnar Jonasson (Hidden Iceland #1)

  1. Pingback: Whiteout – Ragnar Jonasson (Dark Iceland series #5) | #northern #crime

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