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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson.

A young woman, an asylum seeker from Russia, is found murdered on the seaweed-covered rocks of the Vatnsleysuströnd in Iceland. Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police is called to investigate this - the final case in her career before she is forced into retirement.

When Hulda starts to ask questions, it isn't long before she realises that no-one can be trusted and that no-one is telling the whole truth.

Spanning Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and the cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is a classy new thriller from one of the most exciting new names in Scandi noir.

©2018 Ragnar Jónasson (P)2018 Penguin AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Darkness

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

engaging

Well narrated with appropriate feeling. The story itself was good, enabling you to engage with the characters and was pleasantly unpredictable. I thought I knew where the plot was headed for a long time but was happy to be proved wrong. I would definitely read another work by the same author.

3 people found this helpful

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Icy Cool Refreshment

I was in two minds about this one, like many I enjoy a bit of Nordic Noir but a one-off book about a 64 year old lady detective coming up to retirement? To my shame I wasn't entirely sure that would appeal to me. By the end of my listen though I was thinking that a series involving Hulda Hermannsdottir might have been an interesting prospect.

To be fair during the early parts of the book I wasn't so sure but given the relative brevity I was impressed by just how detailed a view Jonasson was able to give of his characters and how strong a feeling of place he evoked of his Icelandic setting. It has a refreshingly different feel to most of the thrillers I've read recently.

The ending is also extremely strong in my view and not something I saw coming. There is a lot of clever irony in the epilogue too which seemed particularly poignant.

Amanda Redman carried the story well with her narration without ever being over-demonstrative and the whole thing generates a decent atmosphere.

I often find it hard recommending shorter books like this but in this case I'd definitely put it in the worth a shot category.

17 people found this helpful

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Can't get enough!

I absolutely love all of Ragnar Jonasson's books and I always end up finishing them within a couple of days. This is no exception and all of them in the Hidden Iceland series have been amazing :)

1 person found this helpful

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poor story

narrated too fast with a weak storyline. the main character missed so much she seemed like a novice not a seasoned detective therefore not credible. had I been reading this book I would have given up in the early stages.

1 person found this helpful

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A really good listen!

Quite short and to the point, insightful with no wasted words! It held me all the way through and I enjoyed it very much.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining

I nearly gave up at the beginning because I couldn't warm up to the narrator. But I gave it a chance and then got sucked in the story line and made it to the end!

1 person found this helpful

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Great story. Disappointing narration

Read much too quickly by Amanda. Perhaps down to editing ?
Also her Icelandic pronunciation was dreadful.
Shame as I really enjoyed the story

3 people found this helpful

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Six stars for breaking with conventions.


A small little book with a tremendous punch, a daring look into how we perceive and how we are perceived, a walk on the dark side of a person's life.

I do not want to say too much and spoil the story so that I will recommend it with some caveats: do not expect the usual formula or a story that just entertains.

My wife and I talked for hours about it, and that alone makes it a worthy read, even if you do not agree, and we did not.

This is actual literature, Ragnar Jónasson is a writer that elevates the genre to a place where characters are flawed and human, that is not something we see often enough

11 people found this helpful

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Strangely simplistic writing

What disappointed you about The Darkness?

I don't know whether its the fault of the translation or the original writing but this very short novel is written in a very simplistic fashion - its a bit like reading a detective novel written for children. It also can't be described as a page-turner as the plot is plodding and the reading oddly flat and unengaging. I am very puzzled by the largely positive reviews.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Far more interesting and suspenseful story

What didn’t you like about Amanda Redman’s performance?

Oddly rushed breathless and still flat delivery

3 people found this helpful

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meh?!

Predictable, disappointing - I was hoping it would be more evocative of Iceland but the scene-setting just wasnt there.