book reviews

‘The Island’ by Ragnar Jonasson ⭐⭐


Four friends visit the island.

But only three return…

Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir is sent to the isolated island of Ellioaey to investigate and soon finds haunting similarities with a previous case – a young woman found murdered ten years ago in the equally deserted Westfjords.

Is there a patient killer stalking these barren outposts?

As Hulda navigates a sinister game constructed of smoke and mirrors she is convinced that no one is telling the truth, including those closest to her.

But who will crack first? And what secrets is the island hiding?  

Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin UK, Michael Joseph and Ragnar Jonasson for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I’m afraid this book wasn’t for me. The synopsis sounded gripping and sinister and I’d read some reviews saying how much people had enjoyed this book so went into it thinking I would find the same.

When I read the prologue I had been left with chills at the last few sentences. It was eerie and ominous and the first few chapters seemed to be setting the scene for an interesting story. But unfortunately it fell apart quickly. The pacing felt disjointed and messy, chapters seemed rushed, the story would jump forward massively all of a sudden leaving me feeling confused instead of full of anticipation. I found that there were too many characters and we didn’t really know who they were. I know this is a sequel but this didn’t just apply to the Detective but all characters. I didn’t feel like the characters were developed sufficiently and I found it a chore to finish as I had zero investment in any of it. I hoped that when the characters reached the island it might pick up but again it felt like things were rushed and all over the place.

I know not everyone can enjoy every book but I always feel terrible when I don’t enjoy an ARC as I know the author will have poured their heart into the book and try to find what I did like about it. For me as well as the eerie start I enjoyed the first few chapters and the promise of an element of witchcraft and the supernatural in this book. But the most enjoyable part for me was the vivid detail in the descriptions of the beautiful Icelandic scenery. It made me want to visit the country and see it for myself.

So while I sign my membership to #blacksheepofbookstagram with this review, I encourage you to read other reviews and decide for yourself about this book. I’m in the small minority in not being gripped by it and you may find that you are.

Out today.

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