A novel that unflinchingly lives up to its name.
There is lightness in the sympathetic main character of Hulda Hermannsdottir, a police detective in the final days of her long and distinguished career. Her world view feels fresh to crime fiction even while it is jaded to police work.
But all else is bleak - Hulda's unwelcome retirement, the Icelandic landscape, the loneliness of a bereaved mother, the struggle of a woman in a male-dominated job, the social isolation of an older single woman. Add to that a dead refugee and a police force that doesn't much care, and the tragic story unfolds right onto the final page, with its bold final twist.
This is the first in a series and I await the next instalment, hoping it leaves me as thoughtful as this story. The Darkness is a compelling read and Hulda is a magnetic personality, but, goodness, it's pitch black in her world.
My favourite line: "The advantage of the darkness is that there are no shadows."
With thanks to #NetGalley for a review copy