The Darkness

Minotaur: St. Martin's. Oct. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781250171030. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250171047. THRILLER
When Reykjavik detective Hulda Hermannsdóttir is forced into early retirement to make way for a hot-shot new hire, she refuses to go without a fight. Her boss has already reassigned her active cases but allows her to work a cold case for her last two weeks. With waning loyalty to the department that has often dismissed and overlooked her, Hulda throws herself into solving the suspicious death of a Russian asylum seeker. As her days on the force tick by, Hulda becomes more and more reckless with her investigation, putting her department, reputation, even her own life on the line to solve the murder. Throughout, Jonasson ("Dark Iceland" series) weaves past and present to reveal slowly the events that led up to the death as well as Hulda's surprisingly dark past. As an older female detective, Hulda is a refreshing addition to the genre. This intricate and timely work explores the dehumanization of refugees, sexism in the police force, aging, and more without overwhelming the core mystery.
VERDICT This heart-pounding tale will appeal to fans of Camilla Läckberg and those looking for a darker, more modern Agatha Christie-type mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]
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