The Darkness

The Darkness

Book - 2018
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After being unceremoniously forced into early retirement at the age of 64, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is refusing to go quietly. Hulda is told to pick a cold case to investigate for two more weeks and she knows just the one. A young woman found dead on the seaweed-covered rocks of the Vatnsleysustrond. A woman who had come to Iceland in search of refuge and found only a watery grave. Her death was ruled a suicide after a slapdash investigation. But when Hulda starts to ask questions she soon realises that there was something far darker to this case. That this was not the only young woman to disappear from the hostel where the asylum seekers waited for their judgement and that no one is telling the whole story. And that if she uncovers something she shouldn't her own life might be in danger.
Publisher: London :, Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Books,, 2018
Description: 317 pages : map ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780718187811
Branch Call Number: Ragn


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Dec 12, 2020

Rec'd by Mrs Peabody. Trilogy where each book goes back in the female detective's life, starting with retirement. "Heart pounding"

Nov 02, 2020

Hidden Iceland Book # 1

sapl3 Apr 09, 2020


DI Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykajavik Police is months away from retirement when her boss approaches her to say that a replacement has been hired for her position and it would be best if she packed up her belongings and left as soon as possible. Blindsided by this announcement, Hulda begs to remain for a few weeks while she works a cold case.

Hulda does not come across as a particularly nice person and we learn more about her character as the story progresses, reinforcing this feeling about her. Magnus, her boss, is an odious man, and is ambivalent towards Hulda: at the same time that he is praising her for her years of service he’s berating her for her actions in the case she’s currently working.

It’s never certain with a translation whether or not the problems with a story are a result of the translation or if they exist in the original. This novel “reads” well, but the story is so flawed that it’s inconceivable. It’s hard to fathom that a DI would act as Hulda does in this tale, leading up to an ending that is anything but satisfying.

Joanne gives The Darkness 1 dagger out of 5!

Dec 21, 2019

That was a real noir ending.

Dec 04, 2019

The plot is little weak, especially the ending which is a blatant attempt to make sequels.

Oct 23, 2019

Excellent thriller with an ending that is so much more than a twist. Hulda is a strong and driven detective who has fought her whole life from the beginning of her existence as the illegitimate child of an absent teen mother and into the predominately male-driven homicide police profession in Iceland. Iceland is the perfect setting with daylight and snow hours on end and confusing how much time is left before her forced retirement to make room for the younger, fresh and inexperienced new detectives. She picks up a cold murder case and it leads her down a path of perplexing connections and huge gaps that involve sloppy police interviews, asylum seekers that no one seems to care about, and using old acquaintances for help. Throughout her professional frustration she starts questioning everything that has happened in life including the death of her daughter and husband and why she feels attracted to a new male friend. Nothing is as it seems – this is a page-turning stunner.

Mar 27, 2019

This is my favorite Ragnar Jónasson book I've read so far. I really connected with Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir and would like to read more books with her as the main character. Since this is the first in the Hidden Iceland series, I expect I'll get my wish. Interesting ending!

Mar 18, 2019

Darkness is exactly what it promises, mean dysfunctional people, incompetent heartless bureaucrats, the bad guys get away with murder .There is no redemption in this heartless narrative taking place in Iceland. a country that comes across as a very cold god forsaken place. I have read many Icelandic thrillers from different authors with interest but this one is as bleak as it gets and it feels that according to the author none of the characters have any redeeming value.

Feb 05, 2019

Decent enough I guess but it seemed very shallow. The writing was sort of stiff at times but I am guessing that had to do with the translation to English. I did enjoy the descriptions of the Icelandic landscape. I will probably read the next 2 of the trilogy assuming it shows up right in front of me but I am not going to exert much effort to find them. It's fine if you can't find anything else on your list.

Jan 26, 2019

The Darkness (Hidden Iceland) by Ragnar Jonasson was a fabulous read. I think it's the book I've enjoyed the most this year. I understand it is part of a Trilogy that has already been published in Iceland and is gradually being translated into English. I have read Ragnar Jonasson previous series, ( Dark Iceland) - that starts with Snowblind, but this new series makes it appear that Ragnar Jonasson was just cutting his teeth with his previous series.

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik police is being forced into a early retirement. Her boss allows her to chose one last cold case prior to her retirement. Hulda digs through the files and finds one in which a young Russian woman washed up on a remote Icelandic beach. The police investigation was quickly and poorly done, and the death was deemed a suicide . As Hulda begins to investigate, she finds that she has stumbled upon so much more. Hulda's personal story is fascinating. The book is billed as a thriller, but I would tend to call it a page turning mystery. It certainly grabbed me and I could barely put it down. Hulda is a complex character, and is well fleshed out. Initially the story is told from three points of view, but those all mesh together as the story progresses. The ending shocked me and I cannot wait for the next installment , due in 2019.

Highly recommended!

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