Book Review:The Darkness (Hidden Iceland) -Ragnar Jónasson ****

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police has always found herself a bit out of step with the predominantly male dominated force that she works in. Things have been a little fraught lately and when Hulda is suddenly forced into early retirement she manages to negotiate herself an extra week or so to work on the cold case of her choice.

Hulda knows straight away which case she will focus on. A young Russian woman had been found dead on a remote beach. She had been seeking asylum in Iceland and after a very brief investigation her death had been ruled a suicide.

After a couple of days of asking questions Hulda is certain that the young woman’s death was murder. No-one seems to be telling her the whole truth and it looks likely that she wasn’t the only young woman to go missing in that area.

If you’ve read any of Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series you’ll recognise his distinctive writing style. His books tend to weave several stories together in the background. These ancillary stories give depth and humanity to the main feature and make you think more about what is happening in the foreground.

Ultimately “The Darkness” reaches an unexpected and very dramatic ending. By the last few pages you find that you forget to breathe as it reaches its shocking finale.

Supplied by Net Galley and Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

UK publication date: Mar 15 2018, 336 pages.

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