I’m delighted to be sharing my review today of book two in the Hidden Iceland series by Ragnar Jónasson.
About this book…
Four friends visit the island.
But only three return . . .
Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.
Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?
As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.
But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?
Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.
What did I think…
Hulda is a character I first encountered in the first book of The Hidden Iceland trilogy, The Darkness, which completely broke me!! The unexpected ending had me sobbing my heart out and I wanted to know more about Hulda and what came before The Darkness. Yes, this is a trilogy told in reverse which I think is a BRILLIANT idea and works so well as we go back in time to The Island and the 64 year old Hulda who is now a much younger woman. She’s no longer having to fight discrimination in the workplace due to her age but she has plenty of other problems to overcome as she investigates the disappearance of one of a group of friends. This group of old school friends have travelled over to a beautiful uninhabited island for a reunion of sorts but when one of them doesn’t return to their cabin, foul play is suspected. But how does the disappearance connect to an historic murder enquiry? Hulda will have to search deeper than ever for the truth amongst the secrets and lies that have been buried for too long.
I read this book over the Christmas period as I wanted to immerse myself in as much of the cold climate as possible whilst catching up with the Icelandic landscapes and the people who populate them. Ragnar Jónasson knows his stuff when it comes to creating a truly authentic and atmospheric experience for his readers and the immersive storyline, combined with his compelling character studies, define his trademark crime thrillers as in a league of their own. Once again I felt many emotions running through me as the themes of love, loss and family knitted together to form a blanket of forgiveness that could unravel at any moment. But these mysteries work so well because of Hulda herself and every time we meet her, we understand a little more about how and why she acts the way in which she does. I’m hoping for a dramatic conclusion to her story when The Mist is published next year although maybe not quite as shocking as The Darkness!
The Island is an Icelandic masterpiece! A twist filled shocking crime thriller that will take you out of your comfort zone and into the mind of a natural born storyteller.
Highly recommended by me!
Meet the author…
Ragnar Jónasson (Author)
Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer and teaches copyright law at Reykjavík University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, from the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie’s novels. He is an international Number One bestseller.
Victoria Cribb (Translator)
Victoria Cribb studied and worked in Iceland for many years. She has translated more than 25 novels from the Icelandic and, in 2017, she received the Orðstír honorary translation award for services to Icelandic literature.