I am delighted to host today’s stop on the blog tour for The Island by Ragnar Jonasson, the second book in the Hidden Iceland series.
Whilst investigating a death, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttier begins to suspect links to another murder which occurred a decade earlier. Unfortunately, her investigation is hindered by a reluctance by both the witnesses/suspects and her police colleagues to provide her with the full, non-redacted truth.
Hulda is an interesting character. Having suffered great tragedy and sadness in her own life, she has thrown herself into her work but has not had quite the success she had hoped for. She is a credible and likeable character, and one whom I’m looking forward to reading more about as I catch up with the rest of the Hidden Iceland series.
As with all of Jonasson’s books, the crime is the real focus of the tale. The plot is dark, disturbing and well-conceived. Opening with a particularly cryptic prologue from 1988, followed by several individual scenes from 1987, it is fascinating to watch the story unfold. There are a number of twists and turns that provide a real sense of mystery and intrigue to the story.
I very much like the author’s writing style. There is a flow to the writing that ensures the book is a real pleasure to read. His language may be fairly concise, yet he provides great detail of the Icelandic scenery and weather. Jonasson’s writing always has a chilling and haunting feel to it, echoing the wintry and bleak setting. This is an author who shows the reader the tale, letting them become involved in the story rather than merely narrating it to them. The story certainly kept me on the edge of my seat wondering where it was all going to lead…
The Island is a riveting tale of secrets, lies and tragedy. It is suspenseful, dark and atmospheric. A beautifully written tale that I would absolutely recommend to anyone who enjoys crime fiction.
Having not yet read The Darkness (the first in the Hidden Iceland series), I can confirm that The Island can be read as a standalone novel. I will, however, be reading The Darkness as soon as possible and I will eagerly await the third and final part of the Hidden Iceland trilogy. I also think that this book (and likely the entire series) would translate very well to the screen.
Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer and teaches copyright law at Reykjavík University. He 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.
You can catch up with the other stops on this blog tour, details listed below.