DI Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is being forced into dreaded retirement at the age of 64.
In her final two weeks on the force, she decides to investigate a cold case – the death of a young Russian immigrant, Elena.
The case was not thoroughly investigated and Hulda sets out to find out the truth behind the young woman’s death.
The detective soon finds herself with new leads and no back-up as she presses towards uncovering Elena’s killer.
From the moment I met Hulda I liked her: firm, fair and keeps a tight rein on her emotions. A bit of an outsider in the department these days, Hulda’s not ‘one of the boys’ but it’s still a shock to her to find herself suddenly side-lined into retirement. As a woman of 54 myself, I was indignant on her behalf.
The book is written in three strands – the main one where Hulda investigates Elena’s death and two others. One tells the story of a young woman who is reluctantly out in the freezing Icelandic wilds with a man she doesn’t know very well. The other tells of a young mother who is separated from her child. In these other two strands, we are given no names, but we care desperately about what happens to the women and so we have to keep those stories spinning until we know for sure who we’re reading about. And this mystery gives us a lot to think about as we accompany Hulda on her journey through the stark beauty of the Icelandic landscape.
I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, but there are red herrings enough keep you on the back foot all the way through. And WHAT an ending Jónasson gives us in The Darkness! You’ll be on the edge of your seat, I promise you!
This is book number one in the Hidden Iceland series from Ragnar Jónasson (The book’s Icelandic title is ‘Dimma’, which means ‘Darkness’) and there are another two novels to follow. I’ll be reading them all! Incidentally, the name ‘Hulda’ means ‘hidden woman’, so this is maybe where the ‘Hidden’ in the series title comes from.
To find out more about the author, click here.
Book out Mid March 2018 – You can pre-order it from Print Point.