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The Darkness

Narrated by: Amanda Redman
Series: Hidden Iceland, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
4 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Why did it have to end like that?

No really, why would a book end in such a frustrating way? So disappointing after quite an enjoyable read.

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l have enjoyed this trilogy

This series is well worth the read and or listen to.

What l find l totally dislike about USA fiction crime writers is they can never kill off their primary characters for the realism of the book and story which is such rot.

l also enjoyed the evolution of the primary character as her story wove through the series.

l live in the biggest driest island in the world, where we are surounded by sunlight, heat, cold winters but my days are long and beautiful, no matter the season - the descriptions and mood settings of the landscape were wonderful to me as l was able gain a sense of the environment where these people live and ek out livings. Harsh in ways as my country is but so very different too.

Read all three books.

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I wouldn't bother with it- thank you, next!

Not Ragnarsson's finest. The plot was unravelled early and the killer easily identified early on. The Narrator gave a poor, rushed performance- sometimes sounding like she was on fast-forward mode; and her pronounciation of Icelandic nouns was terrible, including Hulda Hermannsdóttir's name!

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Lost in sadness

Once again the author has you on a hook. You are introduced to storyline but there is a twist or a distraction. I was devastated at the end. I kept saying "if only she".

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  • Claire Nolan
  • 21-10-2018

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 15-03-2018

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-05-2020

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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  • Jane Cooper
  • 30-09-2019

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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  • Wras
  • 31-03-2018

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

9 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Mc Dowell
  • 18-09-2018

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr C.
  • 29-04-2020

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.

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  • EricP.
  • 18-09-2019

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!

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  • Station Gardener
  • 07-05-2019

great book

Brilliant Icelandic setting for a chilling tale. A bit thrown by odd pronunciation of names.

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  • Mr. C. Bisson
  • 29-04-2019

Ok but bit weak

Pretty middle of the road, probably not worth a credit. Listened to whole thing tho, so can’t be too bad !