Today I am thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Ragnar Jónasson’s The Darkness, the first book in the Hidden Iceland series.
About the author:
Ragnar Jonasson is the award winning author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.
His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.
The second book in the series, Nightblind, also became a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.
Ragnar is the winner of the Mörda Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Nightblind.
Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK and it has also been on best seller lists in France.
Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to 14 countries.
TV rights to the series have been sold to production company On the Corner in the UK, producers of Academy Award winning documentary Amy.
Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA).
He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.
From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.
Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.
He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.
About the book:
Before Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavik Police is forced into early retirement she is told to investigate a cold case of her choice, and she knows just the one.
A young woman found dead on remote seaweed-covered rocks. A woman who was looking for asylum and found only a watery grave. Her death ruled a suicide after a cursory investigation.
But Hulda soon realizes that there was something far darker to this case. This was not the only young woman to disappear around that time. And no one is telling the whole story.
When her own force tries to put the brakes on the investigation Hulda has just days to discover the truth. Even if it means risking her own life . . .
Published by Penguin Michael Joseph on March 15th, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:
Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a huge fan of Ragnar Jónasson’s writing, so when I heard we were finally going to meet Hulda Hermansdottir in The Darkness, I jumped at the chance to read it, and I was definitely not disappointed.
Hulda is a Detective in the Reykjavik Police, and at sixty-four, is almost ready to retire. When she takes on the last case of her career, Hulda finds out that all is not what it seems. The case, a cold case, involved a young woman seeking asylum from Russia, who was found murdered on an isolated beach in Vatnsleysuströnd. Hulda thinks that if she can solve this one last case, she’ll go out on a high as she finishes her career, but life is never really that easy.
The Darkness is another fine example of Ragnar Jónasson’s ability to transfer the chilling Icelandic landscape into a character in the book. Unforgiving, dark and more than a little unsettling, I found myself thinking it sounds like a very harsh place to live. But I could easily conjure up the images he created.
Speaking of character, I really enjoyed reading about Hulda. It seems she is a little misunderstood by her colleagues, but when you get a glimpse into her thought processes you see she is lovely, just a bit standoffish. Her gruff demeanour does little to endear her to many of the people around her, but I warmed to her immediately.
By the end of the book, I genuinely didn’t want to have to turn that last page, so I’m really glad this is only the beginning. Or the end, because the books are going in reverse order.
To sum up, for me, The Darkness was a haunting portrait of the Icelandic landscape, with brilliantly drawn characters and a thoroughly chilling plot. It takes the reader on an unexpected journey, and I loved every minute of it.
Highly recommended, as always!
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