3 Stars Reviews

Review: The Island (Hidden Iceland series) by Ragnar Jónasson

*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir is tasked with investigating the mysterious death of a young woman on the isolated island of Elliðaey during a weekend getaway with old friends. She soon discovers that this group has seen tragedy before, and begins to question if the shocking murder of one of their friend’s ten years ago is connected with this new case.

This is the second book in the Hidden Iceland series. I haven’t read the first book, and I don’t believe it’s necessary to enjoy The Island overall, but it may have increased my investment in Hulda’s story. I believe Hulda’s personal journey spans the series, though the books seem to be going backward in time rather than forwards. In this book, she’s dealing with the grief of losing her husband and daughter, and searching for her absentee father. I found Hulda’s personal story, not a distraction as such, but I wasn’t really interested, I had no investment in her as a character. As mentioned, maybe I would feel differently had I read the first book of the series.

The book begins in 1987 with the death of Katla. Although this isn’t the central case in the book, it was important background info but the writing seemed to rush through the details in a way that felt really clunky. I felt like the book didn’t really get started until around halfway through after the narrative jumped forward to 1997. At that point, I began to enjoy it more, and the characters were given more of a chance to develop. I had no idea which friend wasn’t going to make it off the island alive, and once the death had occurred, I couldn’t decide who I thought was responsible, so the novel definitely kept me guessing. A bit of a shaky start, but an exciting read overall.

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

The Island will be published on April 4th, 2019.

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