Just before Christmas a blizzard sweeps across Iceland. In their remote farmhouse, Erla and Einar are hunkering down for the night – when there’s a knock at the door.
It’s a stranger, desperate for shelter. They take him in – but they’ll wish they hadn’t. Because the man is not who he says he is. And, when the power cuts out, it’s the beginning of a terrifying ordeal.
Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir – recovering from a family tragedy – is called to an isolated farmhouse and a haunting mystery…
My first Ragnar Jonasson book, I know right, how can that be? This is actually the third book in the Hidden Iceland book, I haven’t read the other two books and while that didn’t matter at all, I definitely want to. This book takes place when Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir is in her 40s, so before the previous 2 books I believe.
Told from 2 perspectives but in the third person, we have Hulda, recently returned to work following a period of compassionate leave and struggling to cope, based in Reykjavik. We then track back a couple of months to Christmas at the remote farmhouse in East Iceland, occupied by Erla and Einar who receive a mysterious visitor, arriving in the midst of a great storm, the harsh and remote landscape holds it own menace and the explanations offered by the strange guest simply don’t add up. As the story progresses we learn about Hulda’s devastating Christmas as she seeks to use work as a distraction and solve the murders at the desolate farmhouse.
In classic Scandi Noir tradition, this book was a slow burn, building up atmosphere and tension whilst drawing on the landscape to set the scene, developing characters with attention to detail, which resulted in an intricate and rewarding read. The author skillfully weaves the story together, the crime and the investigation, and the power of this story was in the writing. The book was hard to put down and I read it pretty quickly, the chapters were short and the story, despite it’s detail was easy to follow. I thought, indeed I confidently predicted the outcome early on, needless to say I was incorrect on some aspects and I enjoyed the twists the plot took.
In short this was a 5 start read for me, I loved it, so much that I was left very unsure what I wanted to read next, which is most unusual for me!
Will you be reading The Mist? And have you read anything else by Ragnar Jonasson? Recommend me something in the comments and thanks as always for reading
About the Author
Ragnar Jonasson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University, and has worked as a TV news reporter for Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. He is the author of the Dark Iceland series (Snowblind, Nightblind, Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout) and the Hidden Iceland series (The Darkness, The Island).
Ragnar is the co-founder of Iceland Noir, Iceland’s first crime fiction festival. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic; a practice that has inspired his own writing.
This is a blog tour celebrating publication of this book, you know I loved it but check out what others have to say, and please as always share on social media. Thanks so much! Many, many thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour and providing me with a finished copy of the book.