#BookReview: THE ISLAND by Ragnar Jónasson @ragnarjo @MichaelJBooks

The IslandPublication: 4th April 2019 (hardcover & eBook); 3rd October 2019 (paperback) – Michael Joseph

Four friends visited the island. But only three returned . . .

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is sent to the isolated island of Elliðaey to investigate a disappearance.

But she finds haunting similarities to an old case – the murder of a young woman ten years ago.

Has a patient killer struck again?

Hulda is soon caught in a web of deceit, convinced everyone is lying, even those closest to her.

What secrets is the island hiding?

And what price will she pay for uncovering the truth?


I loved The Darkness, the first novel featuring Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir so I have been looking forward to reading The Island, the second book in the series. While in The Darkness Hulda was preparing to retire and leave the police force, in The Island we go back in time when Hulda was an established detective, but, because of prejudices against working women, she was still finding it hard getting the promotion she deserved and she wished for. In this new novel, we see a more personal side to Hulda’s life, as she seeks the father she never met and she grieves over the loss of the people she loves.

In the 1980s, we meet a young couple going away for the weekend in a cabin in the Icelandic Westfjords. Their love story is new and exciting and no one knows about it, not even their friends and their families. A few days later, a body is found and the police investigates. Ten years later, four friends, who haven’t seen each other for a while, get together and spend the weekend on an isolated island. Once again, the weekend ends in tragedy and Hulda investigates…

First of all, I love Ragnar Jónasson’s descriptions of Iceland. They are so beautiful, detailed, and evocative that make me wish that I could hop on a plane and go there right away. Also, I love how the remoteness and danger of the places described fit perfectly with the suspense in the story.

I really like the character of Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir. She is determined, not afraid to speak up and stand up for herself in a men-only working environment where she is expected simply to make coffee and follow orders. She is smart and good at her job, looking for the truth, no matter what. I found her personal life heartbreaking, but also intriguing. The personal tragedies that hit her family could have broken her, but she still finds a purpose in her job. In The Island, her search for her birth father is central to the plot and it made me like this character more and more.

The murder, the secrets, and the lies kept the suspense high. If you loved Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None you will love the plot created by the author: four friends alone on a remote island, one of them disappears, one (or all) of them is guilty… Brilliant!

Gripping, beautifully-written, and full of twists, I devoured The Island and I am already looking forward to reading the third book of this fantastic trilogy!!!

A huge thank you to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel.



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