Praise for The Darkness:
"Jónasson pulls no punches as this grim tale builds to its stunning conclusion, one of the more remarkable in recent crime fiction. Fans of uncompromising plotting will be satisfied." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A complex, fascinating mix of Icelandic community and alienation, atmospheric tension, and timely issues (immigrant exploitation and vigilante justice), Jónasson’s latest series is another must-read for crime fans who follow the work of Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir." Booklist (starred review)
"As an older female detective, Hulda is a refreshing addition to the genre. This intricate and timely work explores the dehumanization of refugees, sexism in the police force, aging, and more without overwhelming the core mystery. VERDICT: This heart-pounding tale will appeal to fans of Camilla Lackberg and those looking for a darker, more modern Agatha Christie-type mystery." Library Journal
"If you think you know how frigid Iceland can be, this blistering stand-alone from Jónasson has news for you: It's much, much colder than you've ever imagined. Warmly recommended for hot summer nights." Kirkus Reviews
"The Darkness is a bullet train of a novel, at once blazingly contemporary and Agatha-Christie old-fashioned. With prose as pure and crisp as Reykjavik snowcrust, Ragnar Jónasson navigates the treacherous narrative with a veteran’s hand. I reached the end with adrenalized anticipation, the final twist hitting me in the face. I dare you not to be shocked." GREGG HURWITZ, New York Times bestselling author
"I'm absolutely LOVING Ragnar Jonasson's The Darkness. In all honesty, I might even be loving this new series more than I loved the launch of Ragnar's Dark Iceland series, Snowblindand that's saying a lot.... If you love atmospheric, slow-burning yet totally addictive police procedurals, you have to add this book to your TBR. The Darkness is downright fantastic." Crime by the Book blog
"[I] was gripped from the start of this brilliantly told story. And left wide-eyed with shock at the ending" FIONA BARTON, bestselling author of The Widow
"... magnificently dark and twisted! That ending - blimey!" C.J. TUDOR, bestselling author of The Chalk Man
"The Darkness is a true masterpiece of a crime novel, introducing an original protagonist, a plot full of twists and turns and an ending that leaves you gasping for air." YRSA SIGURDARDOTTIR, bestselling Icelandic crime writer
"The Darkness is Ragnar Jonasson at the top of his game - deft plotting, a great central character and a story as chilling as the Icelandic winter. I couldn't put it down." WILLIAM RYAN, bestselling author of The Holy Thief
"Just finished TheDarkness ... oh WOW!" HELEN CALLAGHAN, bestselling author of Dear Amy
On the eve of her unwillingly abrupt retirement, a Reykjavík police inspector decides to look into a cold case that immediately turns dangerously hot.
Hulda Hermannsdóttir thought she'd seen the writing on the wall: When she turned 65 in a few months, she'd put in for retirement even though the deaths of both her daughter and her husband have left her nothing to look forward to. But she's thrown for a loop when Magnús, her boss, tells her that he's already assigned her office and caseload to a much younger, up-and-coming male colleague, and could she please clean out her desk within the next two weeks? To mollify her, he offers to let her spend her final days looking into a cold case of her choice—"Any case I like?" she politely asks—and she promptly reopens the investigation into the death of Elena, a Russian immigrant who'd applied for political asylum. Hulda is convinced that her sloppy CID colleague Alexander had bobbled the case, and her initial inquiries suggest that since Elena's petition for asylum had just been granted, she had no reason to leave the hostel where she was staying and drown herself. When Bjartur Hartmannsson, an interpreter who'd worked with the musically inclined Elena, suggests that her interests may have extended to prostitution as well, Hulda kicks into high gear, much to the disapproval of Magnús, whose desire to pull Hulda off the investigation and put her in the deep freeze intensifies with every meeting and phone call. All the while, a series of ominous flashbacks indicates that Hulda's stumbled onto a secret even more wicked than she'd predicted—although, as events ultimately show, she's had years of experience in close contact with wickedness.
If you think you know how frigid Iceland can be, this blistering stand-alone from Jónasson (Blackout, 2016, etc.) has news for you: It's much, much colder than you've ever imagined. Warmly recommended for hot summer nights.
When Reykjavik detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir is forced into early retirement to make way for a hot-shot new hire, she refuses to go without a fight. Her boss has already reassigned her active cases but allows her to work a cold case for her last two weeks. With waning loyalty to the department that has often dismissed and overlooked her, Hulda throws herself into solving the suspicious death of a Russian asylum seeker. As her days on the force tick by, Hulda becomes more and more reckless with her investigation, putting her department, reputation, even her own life on the line to solve the murder. Throughout, Jonasson ("Dark Iceland" series) weaves past and present to reveal slowly the events that led up to the death as well as Hulda's surprisingly dark past. As an older female detective, Hulda is a refreshing addition to the genre. This intricate and timely work explores the dehumanization of refugees, sexism in the police force, aging, and more without overwhelming the core mystery. VERDICT This heart-pounding tale will appeal to fans of Camilla Läckberg and those looking for a darker, more modern Agatha Christie-type mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]—Portia Kapraun, Delphi P.L., IN