by Jonasson, Ragnar; Cribb, Victoria (TRN)

"Spanning the icy streets of Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is an atmospheric thriller from Ragnar Jonasson, one of the most exciting names in Nordic Noir. The body of a young Russian woman washes up on an Icelandic shore. After a cursory investigation, the death is declared a suicide and the case is quietly closed. Over a year later Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdâottir of the Reykjavâik police is forced into early retirement at 64. She dreads the loneliness, and the memories of her dark past that threaten to come back to haunt her. But before she leaves she is given two weeks to solve a single cold case of her choice. She knows which one: the Russian woman whose hope for asylum ended on the dark, cold shore of an unfamiliar country. Soon Hulda discovers that another young woman vanished at the same time, and that no one is telling her the whole story. Even her colleagues in the police seem determined to put the brakes on her investigation. Meanwhile the clock is ticking. Hulda will find the killer, even if it means putting her own life in danger" -

RAGNAR JONASSON was born in Iceland and works as an Attorney at Law and writer in Reykjavik. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. He has appeared on panels at various crime fiction festivals, including Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime in the US. Ragnar lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters. Snowblind is his debut novel.

*Starred Review* Reykjavik Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir dreads her looming retirement. Yes, her career stalled years ago when it became apparent that solid detection couldn't compensate for her inability to build rapport with fellow detectives. But she's blindsided when she's abruptly informed that she's being forced into immediate retirement to make room for her popular replacement. Hulda insists on working through her two-weeks' notice, and manages to win a final go at a cold case. A little over a year earlier, Elena, a young Russian woman seeking asylum in Iceland, was found floating in an isolated cove. Hulda's colleague, arguably the CID's laziest investigator, chalked the case up to suicide. It doesn't take long for Hulda to discredit the suicide theory: Elena was celebrating approval of her asylum application the day she disappeared. When Hulda learns that a local kingpin may have trafficked Elena to Iceland for prostitution, she abandons her customary caution and chases the lead. Jónasson alternates Hulda's final police investigation with the tragic stories of her childhood and her teenage daughter's suicide, and the emerging picture casts intriguing doubt on Hulda's allegiance to the letter of the law. A complex, fascinating mix of Icelandic community and alienation, atmospheric tension, and timely issues (immigrant exploitation and vigilante justice), Jónasson's latest series is another must-read for crime fans who follow the work of Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

On the eve of her unwillingly abrupt retirement, a Reykjavík police inspector decides to look into a cold case that immediately turns dangerously hot. Hulda Hermannsdóttir thought she'd seen the writing on the wall: When she turned 65 in a few months, she'd put in for retirement even though the deaths of both her daughter and her husband have left her nothing to look forward to. But she's thrown for a loop when Magnús, her boss, tells her that he's already assigned her office and caseload to a much younger, up-and-coming male colleague, and could she please clean out her desk within the next two weeks? To mollify her, he offers to let her spend her final days looking into a cold case of her choice—"Any case I like?" she politely asks—and she promptly reopens the investigation into the death of Elena, a Russian immigrant who'd applied for political asylum. Hulda is convinced that her sloppy CID colleague Alexander had bobbled the case, and her initia l inquiries suggest that since Elena's petition for asylum had just been granted, she had no reason to leave the hostel where she was staying and drown herself. When Bjartur Hartmannsson, an interpreter who'd worked with the musically inclined Elena, suggests that her interests may have extended to prostitution as well, Hulda kicks into high gear, much to the disapproval of Magnús, whose desire to pull Hulda off the investigation and put her in the deep freeze intensifies with every meeting and phone call. All the while, a series of ominous flashbacks indicates that Hulda's stumbled onto a secret even more wicked than she'd predicted—although, as events ultimately show, she's had years of experience in close contact with wickedness. If you think you know how frigid Iceland can be, this blistering stand-alone from Jónasson (Blackout, 2016, etc.) has news for you: It's much, much colder than you've ever imagined. Warmly recommended for hot summer nights. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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