The Island: Hidden Iceland Series, Book Two Paperback – 16 April 2019
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- Publisher : Michael Joseph; 1st edition (16 April 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0718187822
- ISBN-13 : 978-0718187828
- Dimensions : 15.3 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 192,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Few writers at work today conjure atmosphere with such power, or plot their mysteries with such craft. The Island is his best book yet, an unflinching thriller that braids past and present, good and evil, love and loss. I can't wait for Hulda Hermannsdóttir's next case ― A. J. Finn, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
No one does isolation better than Ragnar Jonasson, who is superb at portraying Iceland's stark landscape and savage beauty . . . [Hulda Hermannsdottir is] an excellent addition to the growing band of top-class women detectives ― The Times
Prepare to be swept away to the beautiful yet unforgiving island of Elliðaey in Jónasson's latest Icelandic noir. Atmospheric and creepy, Jónasson successfully keeps you guessing till the bittersweet end ― Heat
A chilling novel about people with dark secrets, protecting themselves without a thought for the consequences. ― Sunday Times
Riveting ― Sunday Times
We heart the melancholy Hulda ― Sunday Times Crime Club
A strikingly evoked picture of Iceland's forbidding beauty...Hulda Hermansdottir is a striking character - both gloomy and tenacious - and she is a key reason for the success of this atmospheric novel ― Barry Forshaw
Extraordinary, the three books in that series are all amazing . . . very moving all the way through -- Ian Rankin
This kept me guessing right up until the final pages. I loved the vivid landscapes, brilliant characterisation and intricate plotting. Bravo! ― Liz Nugent, bestselling author of Skin Deep
Consider this one of the author's best plots, layered with that dour Scandinavian atmosphere we love ― New York Times
Ragnar Jonasson is the Stephen King of Icelandic thrillers ― Reader Review
Ragnar's best written book, filled with psychological horror and underlying rage. Hulda Hermannsdottir is a welcome addition to the selection of Icelandic crime fiction protagonists . . . It is almost impossible to put the book down until the last word has been read ― Fréttablaðið
Ragnar's best book yet ― Kiljan, literary TV show
The threads lie in various places, the plot is well woven and the pieces in the puzzle come
together well in the end. The structure is good, the main characters are believable, the story flows
well, everyone is a suspect á la Agatha Christie and the solution unveils the mystery and leads the
readers to the truth. But not all the truth, as some things are better left hidden
Inventive and original, atmospheric and chilling . . . Fans of Christie's work will feel right at home; fans of Nordic Noir will similarly find the atmosphere right up their alley ― 5 ***** Reader Review
Praise for Ragnar Jónasson ― -
Jónasson is an automatic must-read for me . . . possibly the best Scandi writer working today
Ragnar Jónasson writes with a chilling, poetic beauty - a must-read addition to the growing canon of Iceland Noir -- Peter James
His clues are traditional and beautifully finessed - and he keeps you turning the pages ― The Independent, on Snowblind
Distinctive blend of Nordic noir and golden age detective fiction...atmospheric...economical and evocative prose ― The Guardian, on Nightblind
Seductive ... an old-fashioned murder mystery with a strong central character and the fascinating background of a small Icelandic town cut off by snow. Ragnar does claustrophobia beautifully -- Ann Cleeves
The ending hits the reader like a kick in the stomach ― FRÉTTATIMINN
Jonasson's books have breathed new life into Nordic noir ...all the skilful plotting of an old-fashioned whodunit although it feels bitingly contemporary in setting and tone ― Sunday Express
The threads lie in various places, the plot is well woven and the pieces in the puzzle come together well in the end. The structure is good, the main characters are believable, the story flows well, everyone is a suspect á la Agatha Christie and the solution unveils the mystery and leads the readers to the truth. But not all the truth, as some things are better left hidden ― Morgunbladid (Icelandic newspaper)
Ragnar's best written book, Hulda Hermannsdottir is a welcome addition to the selection of Icelandic crime fiction protagonists . . . It is almost impossible to put the book down until the last word has been read ― Fréttablaðið ****
The threads lie in various places, the plot is well woven and the pieces in the puzzle come together well in the end. The structure is good, the main characters are believable, the story flows well, everyone is a suspect á la Agatha Christie and the solution unveils the mystery and leads the readers to the truth. But not all the truth, as some things are better left hidden -- **** ― Morgunbladid
Out of all of Ragnar's books, this is the one I like the most . . . The book of his which reminds me most of Agatha Christie ― Kiljan
A very good book, gripping and interesting, with all the threads carefully managed. Hopefully the author will publish as many books as possible with lead character Hulda ― Vikan Magazine
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Top reviews from Australia
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DI Hulda Hermannsdottir is a character like Vera in her investigative skills. She cuts through corruption to chase down the result.
I found the story telling method clunky. In particular the kindle edition starts at the story so I wasn't aware it was ten years previous. Ragnar hides the suspect by not telling you the names of people involved. Simple and necessary in this story but irritating.
Overall it was a good read.
Top reviews from other countries
Now if you are looking for high-octane action, then this clearly won't be the book for you. There is more a gentle unveiling of the mystery which weaves its way through the chapter of this book. Not one murder in fact, but two, separated by a number of years but undoubtedly connected by the characters that inhabit the pages. Two young women, once best friends, both found dead in isolated locations. An almost perfect mystery, but one which Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is determined to solve.
Ragnar Jonasson is so adept at creating tension and mystery, diverting attention and suspicion from one character to the next. There is also an emotional quality to his writing, and you can feel the doubts, insecurities and anger of the characters emanating from the narrative. Add into this the very personal quest of the lead character, Hulda, and you have a very captivating story. So many secrets are being kept, so many half truths being spoken, that you will struggle to know who to trust and the book certainly had me second guessing myself throughout.
There is a kind of folk lore, or urban legend kind of element to the book too, fed by the overwhelmingly atmospheric and claustrophobic setting of the remote Island on which the second murder takes place. With the heavy clouds drawing in and no way to escape the island it adds a layer of tension to an already fractious situation, and with an ever present sense of foreboding you just know that it's not going to end well for some if not all of the characters.
This is another brilliant novel by the author which just makes me want to read more. I can't wait for book three next March. And yes - it is already on preorder. Has been since last year ;) Bring it on.
‘I’m so glad you’re home’
The novel opens in 1988 in Kopavogur. We are aware that it is a scene with a babysitter and the 7yr old child they are watching. But we are unaware of who they are and how they fit into the storyline. But as usual, all will slowly be revealed…
‘There were two of them’
The novel jumps to 1987 and we follow a young couple very much in love, that are travelling from Isafjordur to Mjoifjordur. They are telling old Icelandic ghost stories of witch burnings and black magic.
Across Iceland Hulda is being overlooked for promotion and is beginning to feel the burn of being a female in a male dominated career. Especially when the position in question is given to a colleague with less police experience than Hulda.
The team are made aware of a young woman in her 20’s missing from a holiday home in Mjoifjordur. Inspector Andres of the Isafjordur police attends due to the remote location of the area. He finds a deserted holiday home and the body of a dead female.
Was this an accident? A fall? or Murder?
‘Andres had an uncomfortable foreboding that a terrible crime had been committed here’
A potential murderer is quickly identified and the case appears to be solved. But did he do it? Or is the case being solved far too quickly and far too easily?
The novel now jumps to 1997, It is the 10th anniversary of the victim’s death. The anniversary is dragging up feelings of guilt and a desire for the truth to be told. But can the individual reach the police before the killer reaches them…
‘I think it’s time the truth came out’
‘Some crimes are so despicable that revenge is justified’
Hulda is currently alone, with no one in her life. But a search for a father that has never known she existed…
‘She felt so alone in the world, so lonely’
The novel kept me guessing right up to the last pages. I thought I had it all figured out! that was until the author’s big reveal. I absolutely CANNOT wait to read the next title in the trilogy… The Mist (2020 release).
Ragnar Jonasson is so very clever! 5*
While the mystery and suspense is rather gentle and pedestrian, I really enjoyed how atmospheric the writing is and the author does a good job of transporting you to Iceland.