Wednesday, December 5, 2018

THE DARKNESS BY Ragnar Jonasson


Publisher:      Minotaur Books
Published:      October 16, 2018
ISBN:        978-1250171030
Genre:      Thriller
Format:     Print from Library
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Hulda Hermannsdóttir is a few months from her retiring after a lengthy career in law enforcement.  Despite her excellent work and drive to solve the crimes that have come her way, she’s never truly been admitted to the “boys club” of the police department.  Left out of investigations – often key investigations, demeaned more than recognized by her supervisor, she still has taken pride in her work.  Now as her career is winding down she’s looking at her options…what is out there for her.  Among her options is a new romance—a truly kind and understanding retired doctor.  Before she goes her supervisor allows her one more case—a cold case of her choosing—to solve.  She chooses the death of a young woman who had been seeking asylum from Russia in Iceland. 

As she delves into the case that was quickly written off as suicide Hulda finds herself with more questions than answers.  It soon becomes clear that not only did the young woman not commit suicide, but there may be a cover-up that extends beyond the simple hostel she found refuge in. 

This was my first Ragnar Jonasson read, but it will not be my last.  The blurb on my library website immediately caught my attention and I had to order THE DARKNESS.  When I read the intro I wasn’t sure what kind of read it would be because it was translated from the original Icelandic.  Clearly Jonasson is a master storyteller and his translator is amazing for capturing the emotional ups and downs of the story.   An outstanding team. 

Jonasson created a multi-layered, utterly fascinating character in Hulda.  It was wonderful to read an older police detective who is still on the top of her game – even more so because of how her supervisor and co-workers treated her.  How her history got her to where she is today, including what readers are told at the very end, adds to making her a likeable character.  You want to know this woman.  Hulda grows, changes and changes perspective throughout the story.  The other characters are equally interesting and have some well-done twists to their stories.

The setting in Iceland was refreshing and unique for me.  While Jonasson didn’t describe much of the landscape, what he includes has me wanting to know more.  

The story itself has some super twists and turns and most especially the ending.  Book 2 takes place 25 years in the past and I can’t wait to read it.  Since this is a trilogy I strongly suspect there will be yet another jaw dropping conclusion.  There simply has to be.

Ragnar Jonasson is one author you definitely want to add to your list of must read authors.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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