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The Darkness

Narrated by: Amanda Redman
Series: DI Hulda Hermannsdottir, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 03-15-18

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.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Claire Nolan
  • Claire Nolan
  • 10-21-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Wras
  • Wras
  • 03-31-18

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

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen Mc Dowell
  • 09-18-18

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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jane Cooper
  • Jane Cooper
  • 09-30-19

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for EricP.
  • EricP.
  • 09-18-19

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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Profile Image for Station Gardener
  • Station Gardener
  • 05-07-19

great book

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

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mr. C. Bisson
  • Mr. C. Bisson
  • 04-29-19

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 !

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr s mudd
  • mr s mudd
  • 04-25-19

In the end an average novel .<br /><br /><br />

I generally like Scandinavian noir with its bleak landscape s but this one fell short. The main character had the potential to offer a different perspective to the norm but the story was too weak.

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Profile Image for AWH
  • AWH
  • 03-22-18

Strangely simplistic writing

What disappointed you about The Darkness?

I don't know whether its the fault of the translation or the original writing but this very short novel is written in a very simplistic fashion - its a bit like reading a detective novel written for children. It also can't be described as a page-turner as the plot is plodding and the reading oddly flat and unengaging. I am very puzzled by the largely positive reviews.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Far more interesting and suspenseful story

What didn’t you like about Amanda Redman’s performance?

Oddly rushed breathless and still flat delivery

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 03-19-19

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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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-19

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".