‘THE END OF THE STORY IS JUST THE BEGINNING…’
[ About the Book ]
1987. An isolated farm house in the east of Iceland.
The snowstorm should have shut everybody out. But it didn’t.
The couple should never have let him in. But they did.
An unexpected guest, a liar, a killer. Not all will survive the night.
And Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir will be haunted forever.
[ My Review ]
The Mist by Ragnar Jónasson was published November 12th with Michael Joseph books. It is a pleasure to be joining the blog tour today with my review of a book that is described as ‘the nail-biting conclusion to the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed HIDDEN ICELAND series.’ For any of you who haven’t read this series before, let that not be an issue, as it is told in reverse chronology.
The Mist is excellently translated by Victoria Cribbs capturing the chilling atmospheric vibe of the book to perfection. Ragnar Jónasson is a writer who deservedly enjoys acclaim from many quarters for his ability to bring Icelandic Noir right to our doors –
‘A world-class crime writer…One of the most astonishing plots of modern crime fiction’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘It is nothing less than a landmark in modern crime fiction’ THE TIMES
‘This is Icelandic noir of the highest order, with Jonasson’s atmospheric sense of place, and his heroine’s unerring humanity shining from every page’ DAILY MAIL
‘Triumphant conclusion. Chilling, creepy, perceptive, almost unbearably tense’ IAN RANKIN
‘This is such a tense, gripping read’ ANTHONY HOROWITZ
The HIDDEN ICELAND series follows Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir backwards through her career. In The Mist we get an insight into her own personal life, the tragedy that befell her and the impact it had on her career going forward.
When tragedy struck Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir’s life in December 1987, she knew her world had changed beyond recognition. Frustrated, angry and very upset, yet unable to remain at home, she returned to work in February 1988 . Her colleagues were unsure of her ability to carry out her job properly but, with her personal assurance that she was ready, that she needed to work, her boss accepted her opinion. She was tasked with investigating a suspicious scene in a remote farmhouse where two bodies had been discovered, possibly there since before Christmas.
The scene is slowly played out for us in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas in both Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir’s life and in the lives of Erla and Einar Einarsson, a married couple living in an isolated Icelandic location. Ragnar Jónasson knows his country and his ability to create a picture is second to none. The bleakness and the cold seeps into the pages, completely immersing the reader into the lives of these people.
Erla and Einar Einarsson had worked the land for years after it passed down through the generations to Einar. When Einar originally met Erla it was in Reykjavik, but she made the decision to leave her city life behind and join him in the countryside. Time took its toll on their marriage. The isolation and loneliness of those long, cold winters were challenging and Erla struggled.
Detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir faced that Christmas with a heavy workload, a teenager with issues and a husband who was always working. She was feeling the pressure of producing the perfect Christmas. With her mother due to arrive for the holidays, she wanted to at least create the illusion that all was well but the cracks were showing and Hulda was emotionally wrecked.
The Mist is a book I devoured in one day. The characters fascinated me, their story holding my attention until the last page. Now here’s the thing, I did not read the other two books in the trilogy but I have read Ragnar Jónasson in the past and knew I was in for a treat. The fact the story is in reverse chronology left it very easy for me (and any new reader) to jump right in on the series. I have no doubt that the appropriate recommendation would be to start with Book 1, The Darkness, but I’ll leave that up to you!
A Ragnar Jónasson book is more than just a story. It is an experience, a feeling, rich in atmosphere and permeated with a strong sense of claustrophobia. The landscape is expertly depicted with the chill and desolation seeping into your bones.
The Mist is a haunting, melancholic and sinister tale written with a confident and discerning hand. A treat for all Ragnar Jónasson fans and an ode to Iceland with her harsh, yet beautiful, landscape.
[ Bio ]
RAGNAR JÓNASSON 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.
Twitter ~ @Ragnarjo