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The Island: Hidden Iceland #2    by Ragnar Jonasson order for
by Ragnar Jonasson
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Island continues (from The Darkness that introduced the series lead later in her life) to follow the investigations of Icelandic Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir. It moves back and forth in time to reveal two murders that ultimately turn out to be connected (though not in the way that most readers will suspect).

Hulda has considerable talents but they are not enough to move her career forward in an organization that does not value women. Having lost her family (her young daughter to suicide and her husband soon afterwards) her life focuses on her work. Her boss's career was catapulted by an early conviction of a man for the murder of his teen daughter at an island summer home, but readers are given insights into that death that lead them to question that conviction and how it was handled.

Ten years later, four young people come together on a remote Icelandic island of Ellidaey ('the golf course of the gods', accessible only by boat), to remember the mutual friend who died so long before. This reunion does not end well when another young woman dies. It would have been ruled suicide except for Hulda's involvement in the investigation, and it's she who ultimately links the two deaths and brings to light her boss's misdeeds.

The resolution is a surprising one and the mystery well plotted, especially the depiction of the ripples moving out from a violent act to affect all with any connection to it. Having recently traveled in Iceland, I especially enjoyed the scenic descriptions and could easily picture the settings. If you like Scandinavian noir, then you should try both of Jonasson's dark series.

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