Hi! I’m Sarah at babbageandsweetcorn.wordpress.com and welcome to my spot on The Blog Tour for The Island by Ragnar Jonasson.
Four friends visit the island.
But only three return . . .
Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally desolate Westfjords.
Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?
As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.
But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?
Haunting, suspenseful and as chilling as an Icelandic winter, The Island follows one woman’s journey to find the truth hidden in the darkest shadows, and shine a light on her own dark past.
Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir is sent to the remote island of Ellioaey to investigate the reported death of a woman. As Hulda begins to look into the case she begins to investigate if there is a connection to a previous murder, where another young woman was found dead at a summer house in another isolated location. This previous case is the second ‘ghostly’ introduction we read at the opening of the book which begins this novel of 2 murder investigations 10 years apart.
Time is a very key element to this book, as it not only is a dual time line story, but is also the 2nd novel in a 3 part series featuring Hulda. Having read the first novel, The Darkness, I was very interested when I heard that there were to be two more books in a series, and the interesting approach being that the novels go backwards in time in the life of the main character. The Darkness being present day and The Island taking place in the 90’s as present day for this Hulda and 10 years previously in another case. I also felt this story had a very strong link to parenting and in the case of each character, including Hulda, touches on the way our personalities are shaped by the people that raise us.
Ragnar Jonasson has a wonderful way of writing these Icelandic crime novels. Wonderfully atmospheric with the landscape and Iceland taking centre stage but also of the wonderful character formation he allows for. This is not a fast paced, graphic murder mystery, but a character driven crime novel where each character is described meaningfully within their own story line, leading to many a wrong turn in trying to figure out the ending!
I enjoyed the way it portrays Hulda 15+ years younger and therefore now with some extra highlights into the reasons for her lonely and some what depressing lifestyle. It left me even more intrigued into the story behind the deaths of her husband and daughter and wonder if this will be the darkest tale of them all. I particularly liked parts such as about 10% from the end where she wonders herself what she will be like in 20-25 years time. Still alone? she asks herself…… Because of these moments of connection to the first book I think they would make a great read back to back.
I enjoyed The Island and would like to thank the publisher Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House UK, for my advance readers copy via NetGalley and Sriya Varadharajan for the invite onto this blog tour. Here’s looking forward to book 3!
Notes on Amazon about The author: 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.
The Darkness is the first novel in his Hidden Iceland series, to be followed by The Island and The Mist.