The Island by Ragnar Jónasson
Published by Minotaur Books on May 21, 2019
Series: Hidden Iceland, #2
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, thriller
Format & Length: hardcover, 336
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Elliðaey is an isolated island off the coast of Iceland. It is has a beautiful, unforgiving terrain and is an easy place to vanish.
The Island is the second thrilling book in Ragnar Jonasson’s Hidden Iceland trilogy. This time Hulda is at the peak of her career and is sent to investigate what happened on Elliðaey after a group of friends visited but one failed to return.
Could this have links to the disappearance of a couple ten years previously out on the Westfjords? Is there a killer stalking these barren outposts?
Written with Ragnar’s haunting and suspenseful prose The Island follows Hulda’s journey to uncover the island’s secrets and find the truth hidden in its darkest shadows.
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of The Island ever since thoroughly enjoying the first book in Jónasson’s Hidden Iceland series, The Darkness. So I was thrilled to find a copy available from my library so soon after its publication and requested it immediately. And this thriller wound up really working for me.
After an eerie prologue that sets the tone for the entire book, The Island uses alternating perspectives in a couple different timelines to build tension and unease that grows steadily with each page. Detective Hulda, at the peak of her career in this installment, investigates a death on an isolated island off the coast of Iceland and begins to believe that it’s linked to a crime that happened a decade prior. Her backstory also continues to unfold amidst her investigation and is woven effortlessly between the perspectives of the other characters.
As intriguing as the plot and characters are, I particularly love the way Jónasson sets this story. Descriptions of the landscape are so clear to evoke both its beauty and its bleakness, adding atmosphere to further set the tone. And the inclusion of some real historical reference to the area was a nice touch to help ground the story.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed The Island and can’t wait to see where the series goes next! Recommended.