The Mist

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 1 May 2020

Member Reviews

The mist by Ragnar Johnson. 
Haukur Leó is trying to find his daughter Unnur will he find her? Who are Erla and Einar? What do they know about Unnur? It's up to 
Detective Hulda Hermannsdottir to find out what happened.  
A very enjoyable read. Last of a Trilogy. I did enjoy this 3. I liked the characters. Although  I wasn't sure about Leo. A little creepy. Overall a great read.  4*.
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Ragnar Jonnasson does it again. 
A fantastic plot and a superbly written book! 
If you haven’t read The Hidden Iceland series, you should - even though this book can be read as a stand alone. 
This book gives more answers around DI Hermannsdotti and her background. Is set in 87, when the DI is still recovering from a personal lost in her personal life and follows her investigation into events that happened in a farm house in the East of Iceland. 
As mentioned previously, the plotting is superb and this book just kept me on the edge of my seat, with all its twists, mystery and captivating writing. 
With its atmospheric writing you can’t help but feel you are there alongside the characters and you just can’t put this book down until you read it alls
No review can make it justice. And if you are a fan of mystery and thriller and Nordic noir this is the book for you. 

I would like to thank Netgalley, Penguin UK and Michael Joseph as well and the brilliant Ragnar Jonasson for the opportunity to read The Mist prior to its release date in exchange for an honest review
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The third in the series told in reverse order is a dark twisting tale of missing characters and the mindset of the lead character Huldur. Battling with suspicions about her daughters suicide she returns to work to investigate two deaths in a remote farmhouse in the Icelandic wastes. The first part of the story deals with a Christmas cut off from everywhere by the weather and a mysterious visitor who is not everything he seems. Running parallel is Huldur's tale and her relationship with her daughter,husband and mother. The second part with many twists and turns reveals all in a chilling climax. Read with the central heating turned up!
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Here we have the third and final (or should I say “first”? The series runs in reverse chronological order) book in the Hidden Iceland trilogy. 

This book opens with Hulda at the age of 40, in the lead-up to events for which we see the consequences in later books. There is also a mystery to be solved which starts out like an ancient magical tale from the region: whilst snowed-in and with a storm brewing outside, a couple hears the unexpected: a knock at the door. This is the second strand of the novel to be woven into Hulda’s later.

As with his previous books, Jónasson masterfully builds dread and suspense. Read this by the fire with whisky because this tale has the ability to send a chill through you with the description of the ferociously cold, bleak and isolated countryside. 

The Darkness is still my personal favourite in the series, though I’m glad to have spent more time with Hulda Hermannsdóttir. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and the author for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Very grateful to have been granted the privilege of reading this series.
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The Mist is the third and final book in the Hidden Iceland series. Reviews of the previous two books can be found elsewhere on my site. I’ve really enjoyed this quirky take on Icelandic police work. The Hidden Iceland series begins at the end of Hulda’s career with the police. As the series progresses we go back in time until we reach The Mist. Here we finally address the traumatic and distressing events that tore her family apart.

It is now 1987. An isolated farmhouse in the east of Iceland is cut off from the world during the Winter snowstorms. No-one can reach them and they cannot contact anyone outside. But then inexplicably there is a knock on the door. The couple hesitate but let the man in. That was their first mistake.

Beautifully written this story fits perfectly with the other two books in the series. The threads of The Mist run through the other two parts and are pulled into stark reality in this creepy and sometimes gruesome tale. Jónasson is a master of this darkly gothic Scandi Noir style and you’ll be glued to the pages of this book right to the end. Just don’t blame me if you don’t get any sleep as a result!

Supplied by Net Galley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph in exchange for an honest review.
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Another exciting book set in Iceland by this author . Hulda a previously met Police inspector (The Island) has returned to work but is unable to concentrate on the work she has to do , just looking at old cases but without enthusiasm for any and achieving nothing . She is haunted by a case of a missing girl the previous autumn , who had decided to explore Iceland finding work and touring around . Her parents had not heard from her for some months so had reported her missing . Meanwhile family life is causing problems for Hulda . 
Two bodies are found in an isolated farmhouse which has been virtually inaccessible for months and she is called in to help the investigation . The bodies have been in the house for some time and it appears that somebody else has been involved but how could anybody get in or out due to the incessant snow storms . It all comes together with a link to the missing girl . The style of writing fits well to the sombreness of the landscape and weather ,including the loneliness of isolated homes over the winter months in Iceland .
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An enjoyable modern mystery book,

Read if you like a good twisty plot.

This gripped me from the start, a real page turner.
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What a magnificent ending to this brilliant trilogy that is so much more than just a police procedural oh how I loved it I and really can’t praise it enough it’s that good !!
Set in the cold wasteland of Iceland this is a read full of atmosphere, mystery, dark and brooding as we learn of the wonderful Hulda’s reasons for her sadness, wow what a fabulously written character she is you can really feel the hurt and pain she suffers as she struggles through a complex and tragic murder case and this  is all down  to Ragnar Jonasson’s excellent writing.
These books have been a joy for me as I love the darkness that most Scandi thrillers seem to have and there is a depth to this trilogy both in the mystery side of the read and also in the portrayal of the deep feelings the characters have and I am sad to come to the end of it all oh how I will miss Hulda but I will certainly read more from this great author.
So a book I can’t fault and a trilogy I can’t fault what more can you ask for I loved it it’s just perfect and I can highly recommend it. 
My thanks to Ragnar Jonasson for giving me so much pleasure in a read.
My thanks also to NetGalley and Penguin UK, Michael Joseph for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Loved this book and the Hulda triology.  I was waiting for this book as the first/last? in the series as these books were issued in reverse order which was clever.  The detective story was really interesting along with being drip fed Hulda's sad back story to understand what made her as she was.  I love books that don't wrap everything in neat, happy parcels, and this is one of them that sticks with you.  One of my new favourite authors.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advance copy of The Mist, the third novel in the Hidden Iceland series to feature detective Hulda.

February 1988 and Hulda, still reeling from her daughter’s death, is sent to Eastern Iceland to investigate the suspicious death of a farmer and his wife. It would appear that they died before Christmas but, given the remoteness of their farm and the severity of the weather, they have only just been found.

Wow! What a read for atmosphere. The novel starts in February 1988 with Hulda trying to concentrate on the case of a missing teenager but unable to concentrate due to her grief and anger and then she is sent to Eastern Iceland. The novel then switches back to the days before Christmas and is told in alternating chapters by Hulda and Erla, the farmer’s wife. Hulda is worried by her daughter’s behaviour and her inability to find Unnur, the missing teenager. Erla is looking forward to spending Christmas with her husband and daughter who lives nearby. What she isn’t expecting is a stranger asking for shelter. I found the situation between Erla and the stranger, Leó, a gripping piece of writing, tense, claustrophobic and full of suspicion. I didn’t know what to believe. Is Erla paranoid or is Leó hiding something? I found the tension quite unbearable at times, such is the power of the writing.

Once Hulda gets there the case is quickly resolved. It’s elegant in its simplicity which somehow underlines the seething cauldron of emotions that underpin it. This is a novel of loss and how people deal with it. I thought the comparisons were apt and I especially loved the last line of the book.

The Mist is not an action packed police procedural but, rather, an understated study of motive and grief that I thoroughly enjoyed, therefore I have no hesitation in recommending it as a good read.
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It’s 1987 and Detective Hulda has returned to work after a period of compassionate leave following the death of her daughter.  Before the leave she was investigating a missing person; a young woman traveling around Iceland alone whose parents haven’t heard from since early Autumn.  On her return to work she’s given a case in the east of the country - two people found dead in an isolated farmhouse.  They’ve been dead for a while as the road to their farm had been blocked by snow since before Christmas.  It’s clear to Hulda that the couple must have had a visitor at some point before their deaths and when she an a local inspector find a car in a snow drift it appears that her two cases are linked. 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all three of the Hulda series - sucked me in right from the beginning.  Couldn’t put it down. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Michael Joseph and Ragnar Jonasson for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review,
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I've enjoyed Ragnar Jonasson's books for a while, loving the breathtaking settings and gripping drama. The Mist is no different. It is pacy and intriguing, perfectly executed.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Hidden Iceland series has been quite the discovery for me. Like a hidden gem nestling in the crisp snow Ragnar Jonasson writes so evocatively about, this novel deserves to shine. Alas, I have not read the previous novels in the series, but this did not spoil my enjoyment of The Mist (though I will doggedly pursue other titles in the series). First and foremost, Jonasson, is a natural born storyteller. This book has no gimmicks and  no 'high concept' to appeal to the fickle reader looking for the next blockbuster - an appeal which is more about hype and marketing frenzy than real substance. However, if you are looking for impeccable plotting, perfectly calibrated prose and characters who seem to defy their fictional existence, then look no further than The Hidden Iceland series. There is the mystery, of course, which is an eminently satisfying one, but the real star of the show, so to speak, is the meta-character of  Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdotti. Hulda is quite simply one of those enduring characters of literature that need no introduction. A timeless figure, Hulda has been compared to both Vera and Miss Marple. These are apt comparisons, but Hulda also quite simply Hulda, a character that could only be birthed amongst the sweeping textual landscape of Nordic noir. This novel ends at the beginning, with Hulda a young married woman in 1987. Then there is the snowstorm, the isolated residents of the cabin for which there is no escape, and finally.... a dark crime at the heart of a hostile Icelandic winter in 1987. The crime is solved, of course, but there is the riddle of our heroine's life to solve, and this book shines a probing light on life of the enigma that is Hulda Hermannsdotti. It is the character-driven nature of the novel which makes it a superior crime thriller. Twisty, mesmerising, mysterious, and a future classic of crime fiction.
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Book three (or I guess book one depending on how you look at it) in the Hidden Iceland series is entirely brilliant - revealing the true start of Huldur's journey and offering up a chilly, atmospheric mystery as well. Entirely addictive and beautifully written I read this in one sitting.

An isolated farmhouse, a horrifying discovery, but just what happened here in the snowy isolated landscape cut off from civilisation? Hulda, reeling from a personal tragedy, attempts to navigate a scene full of clues and hold herself together in the process...

This story will make you shiver, not only because of the pitch perfect descriptive sense of place, at the heart of the Mist is a heart wrenching set of human tragedies, a convergence of events that will affect Hulda for a long long time and will ultimately lead her to the events of The Darkness. As such it is completely riveting first page to last and I simply could not put it down.

This is an easy one to recommend and I do, highly. The entire trilogy is perfectly plotted and immaculately presented and you will fall into these books and not look up until you are done.

The urge to read them again in reverse order of publication is upon me and I'm sure I will do that later this year. In the meantime go get them. You won't be disappointed.
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Not my favourite book of this series. To be honest I didn't really like the going back in time way that the books were written. It's a short, quick read. Not awful but not great either.
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Excellent. This book was an excellent mystery thriller, set in Iceland. I have read other books written by Ragnar Jónasson and this one is just as good. It was fast paced and the plot meshed the different characters and events very cleverly.
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"The house was feeling its age and when the wind blew from a certain quarter the only way to keep warm in some of the rooms, like here in the sitting room, was to wrap yourself in a thick blanket, as she had done now. The blanket kept her body snug, but her hands, sticking out from under it, were so chilly that it was hard to turn the pages. Still, she put up with it. Reading gave her greater pleasure than anything else she knew. A good book could transport her far, far away, to a different world, another country, another culture, where the climate was warmer and life was easier."

Traumatic events referred to in previous books in the series (this is book 3) are in sharp focus here. In one storyline a couple in a claustrophobic, isolated farmhouse are snowed in as a stranger arrives on their doorstep. Erla would rather be in Reykjavik, but her husband won’t leave the family land. Living on the outskirts of Reykjavik, Hulda can’t understand what’s wrong with her teenage daughter, who seems to be beyond depression. She’s working so hard to combat the entrenched sexism of the police force, it’s impossible to get enough time off to find out what’s wrong. She feels responsible for failing to solve the case of a young woman who went missing whilst backpacking on a ‘year off’. Both pull her in opposing directions, for a dark read.
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What a fantastic read. I really enjoyed it. It was exciting and one I couldn’t put down, once I had started it. It was very well written. I will be looking out for more books from this author in the future
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The Mist is yet another incredible book from Icelandic master Ragnar Jonasson. The final book in his Hidden Iceland series, which masterfully weaves Hulda's sorrowful tale backwards from her death, is a stunning achievement.

Jonasson uses the remoteness of a farmhouse in the middle of winter to draw his readers in, then in a relentless tale of snowstorms, powercuts, locked doors and mysterious visitors, weaves a story that kept me gripped from the very first page to the last.

This is an incredible book, i cant wait to see what the author produces next, because i know ill down anything else to read it.
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The Mist is the final instalment in Ragnar Jonasson's innovative Hidden Iceland Trilogy. The Trilogy starts with Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir on the verge of retirement and unusually goes backwards in time with The Mist featuring Hulda as a young married woman in 1987 . A novel idea and one that works as the reader is introduced to Hulda then the reason for the demons that haunt her as woman in her 60's are made apparent as we learn more about her earlier life. This device also means that the series can just as easily be read in reverse order but I'd urge potential readers to read the books in the order the author intended to get the most out of Hulda's story.
This is a very dark tale set in the Christmas of 1987. when a stranger knocks on the door of a very remote farmhouse asking for help in deepest eastern Iceland during a snowstorm.. He's offered shelter by the couple who own the farm but they very quickly become suspicious of him when his story doesn't add up then deeply worried. In the meantime an over-worked Hulda is letting her home life slip as she tries to prove herself in a male-dominated police force and Christmas in both households fails to reach "Goodwill to all men"  status by a very long way. 
As Hulda's domestic life unravels she's called to investigate what has happened at the remote farmhouse by the local police who have made a shocking discovery..
While this book does include murder there's very little mystery and the case is solved when a crucial piece of evidence is found that instantly solves the crime. That doesn't make it less of a book though, the back story to events in the farmhouse and Hulda's domestic woes are hard-hitting and in the case of the latter explain a lot about Hulda in later life,and the first 2 books in the trilogy..
Hulda is a great character and it's a shame that this is the last book in the series, she's very much an Icelandic Vera or Miss Marple which shouldn't be a surprise as Ragnar Jonasson translated several Agatha Christie books into Icelandic before writing his own novels..
This can be read as a standalone but you'll get far more out of it if you've already read the previous books in the series. there are no car chases,no fist fights ,just a believable character whose air of melancholy and attitudes is revealed as the books go back in time.
Thanks to Ragnar Jonasson, Penguin UK -Michael Joseph Books and Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
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