From The Bookshelf – The Island

I received a free copy from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Blurb

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.


My Thoughts

The Island is the second installment of the Hidden Iceland series. It brings with it the return of Hulda, who shone so brightly in book one. My review of book one can book one can be seen HERE. While this is a sequel, this book can certainly be read without having read book one.

Those who follow the blog will be aware of how much I have enjoyed the previous books by the author, so I was delighted to finally dig into The Island while on holiday.

With The Island Ragnar Jónasson once again shows that he is one of the masters of location. If you thought that Iceland felt like a cold and inhospitable place in the previous books, you haven’t seen anything yet. The Island brings us to an uninhabited island on the coast, that is home to millions of birds, but not much more. It draws the reader in, and gives a real sense of isolation. Some of the descriptions here had me shivering, despite the fact I was sitting in over 30 degree heat while reading.

The return of Hulda is a welcome one, this book being set some years prior to the events of The Darkness it is more a prequel than a sequel, but we get some great insight into how the character became who she is in book one (a badass) who had to deal with some real shitheads during her life. I felt a real admiration for her, I’d love to get a cup of coffee with her.

The story is spine chillingly good – this is Nordic Noir at its finest. The supporting cast of characters are brilliant – even the aforementioned shitheads – which only increases the enjoyment and makes this yet another Ragnar Jónasson book I found impossible to put down. This one is thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend you take a visit to The Island this year.