- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Michael Joseph (15 Mar. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718187245
- ISBN-13: 978-0718187248
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.1 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 112 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Darkness: If you like Saga Noren from The Bridge, then you'll love Hulda Hermannsdottir (Hidden Iceland) Hardcover – 15 Mar 2018
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A superb thriller (The Sunday Times)
A complex, fascinating mix of Icelandic community and alienation, atmospheric tension, and timely issues (immigrant exploitation and vigilante justice), Jonasson's latest series is another must-read for crime fans who follow the work of Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Booklist)
I've ONLY recently discovered the extraordinary Icelandic writer who adds several shades of darkness to Nordic noir . . . it builds to a deeply shocking climax (Anthony Horowitz Daily Mail, Ten Thrillers to Die For)
If you have ever doubted the appropriateness of the phrase 'Nordic noir', The Darkness will dispel any hesitation . . . in what way this happens (and how badly) is the strength of the book. There are ever-darker surprises, culminating in a finish that leaves one with a highly disturbing image. (BOOK OF THE WEEK The Press)
The wait was worthwhile and The Darkness first in the new trilogy, is a very efficient piece of work. Jonasson has the full measure of the Nordic noir genre, and pushes all the requisite buttons (Crime Time Newsletter)
To read Ragnar Jonasson is to plunge into snowy Iceland . . . much of its atmosphere and subtle pacing to the traditional 'golden age' detective fiction as the mystery unfolds and builds to a startling climax, elegantly handled. (The Witness)
As chilling as the nip in the Icelandic air (Choice Magazine)
Superb. . . chilling . . . This is the first volume in Jonasson's Hidden Iceland trilogy, which tells Hulda's story in reverse chronological order and establishes her as one of the great tragic heroines of contemporary detective fiction (Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month)
Expertly plotted, with an ending that's a true shocker, The Darkness is the first book in a trilogy featuring this engaging investigator, which is good news (The Guardian)
Magnificently dark and twisted! That ending - blimey! (C. J. Tudor, bestselling author of The Chalk Man)
About 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 founded the international crime writing festival Nordic Noir. Ragnar 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.
The Darkness is the first novel in his Hidden Iceland series, to be followed by The Island and The Mist.
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.
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I was really keen to read this author's work, knowing he's a writer, lawyer and lecturer and started translating the works of Agatha Christie at 17. Also, Anthony Horowitz had written an article that named this book as one of his picks for top thriller novels, so was eager to see if it was up to the hype. It was. I was in from the first page. It didn't let up and the twists and turns kept me on my toes to the finish - I sat and read it in one go.
Set in Iceland, which here is a character in itself - freezing, inhospitable and beautiful, this is a well-written mystery/thriller. Quite often I have found that books are EITHER page-turners or are cleverly written and here the joy is that the book is both.
The lead characters are all well-drawn - with the lead detective a female nearing retirement, whose services are not appreciated by the younger generation. We find out more about Hulda as the book progresses. She is put in contrast with the men of of the novel, only one of whom is anything close to likeable, which makes sense as we are brought into Hulda's perspective.
I am really excited that this is to be part of a series and will eagerly await the next installment!
The book is an easy read, light on noir and not quite as engaging as Ragnar's other offerings. The police inspector is naturally a flawed character but we don't find out how flawed until the closing pages. The story is interspersed with her back story and that of the victim, which gave a bit of uncertainty to the telling of the tale. I will be interested to see how the rest of the series works out.
What I liked about this was that you have a deep connection with Hulda throughout the book, the backstory of her life gives you a more personal connection to the character and fleshes her out a lot. From the issues with her mother, daughter, ex-husband and the charming relationship she's developing with Peter.
I just wish there was more to the ending of the story, something that gave you some sort of clarity as to the outcome. But I'll let you read that to decide.
As good as any on the 'Scandi noir' writers and on a par with the best Icelandic authors including Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. I've taken to buying the hardbacks when I think I can afford them as this helps the authors more and took a punt on this.
It's very good - obviously that is a credit to the translation as well as to the author - I'm hooked and now irritated at having to wait for the next instalment in 2019
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