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The Darkness: Hidden Iceland #1    by Ragnar Jonasson order for
by Ragnar Jonasson
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've enjoyed Ragnar Jonasson's Dark Iceland series that began with Snowblind. Now, in The Darkness, he introduces readers to Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavík police as she nears retirement. Indeed, she's being pushed into an earlier retirement than she'd planned, allowed only to pursue one brief cold case investigation.

Hulda decides to look into the case of a young Russian woman washed up from the sea - a colleague, for whom she has little respect, had quickly labeled it a suicide, but why would Elena have killed herself after learning that her asylum application was about to be approved? The case was brushed aside. Nobody cared, and this bothers Hulda.

She applies her considerable talents to uncover the truth. Who was the man who picked up Elena the day before her body was found? Was she involved in prostitution? What happened to her friend, Katja, who went missing before Elena did? Hulda consults an interpreter who worked with Elena. As she continues digging, despite her boss trying to shut her down, readers are given insights into Elena's last journey.

Hulda does solve the case, but there is darkness (befitting the title) in this story's ending. The volume ends with an extract from the second book in this Hidden Iceland trilogy, The Island, set twenty-five years earlier.

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