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.
The Island was published on the 4th April by Michael Joseph. Many Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book for review and for inviting me onto this blog tour.
The Island is the second book in the Hidden Iceland series featuring Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir, although Hulda is younger than when we were introduced to her in The Darkness as this series is told in reverse order.
The book opens 10 years earlier than the main timing of the book, where a young woman’s life was tragically taken. At the time, the police investigated, found their suspect who seemingly admitted his guilt by taking his own life. At this time, Hulda is becoming frustrated with her lack of professional progression, losing promotion opportunities to her male colleagues. The timeline then shifts to 10 years later where a group of friends go away to remember their friend who they lost, Hulda gets involved when the trip goes horribly wrong and another young woman dies with chilling similarities to the previous murder.
Hulda is a great character, she demonstrates how difficult it was for women to progress up the ranks in a male-dominated profession. Despite this, Hulda is still determined to do a good job and to seek justice. In this case, this thorough approach makes her start asking questions about the first murder, did the police really capture the right person back then? Hulda is also going through a challenging time personally as she is also remembering her husband and daughter who she lost nearly 10 years previously.
Jónasson’s setting for the book is perfect, in the most remote, barren and beautiful areas of Iceland which he brings to life through wonderful descriptions which enhance the tension of the narrative. The setting itself is as much as a character as the people themselves.
The Island is a speedy read that you can easily get lost in because of it’s short chapters which encourages you to read one more chapter, then another….and so on! Before you know it, you are half way through and completely immersed in the narrative.
As the timeline of the series goes in reverse, I think that this book can be read as a standalone however I would recommend starting at the end to get to know Hulda and fully experience the ‘Hidden Iceland’.
Another brilliant read from Ragnar Jónasson, looking forward to The Mist and the beginning of Hidden Iceland!
Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 15 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and set up its first overseas chapter in Reykjavik. He is also the co-founder of the international crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.