cover image The Mist

The Mist

Ragnar Jónasson, trans. from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-76811-7

Isolation and despair undo the characters in Jónasson’s exceptional third and final novel featuring Reykjavík Det. Insp. Hulda Hermannsdóttir (after 2019’s The Island). In February 1988, Hulda, who has returned to work after time off to deal with an unidentified personal issue, is still struggling to get through the day and perform any meaningful work. She’s forced into action by her boss when multiple corpses are found on a farm, with indications that the bodies have been there since around Christmas. Flash back to a snowy day in December 1987. Einar and Erla Einarsson, who live on a remote farm, answer a knock on the door to an unexpected visitor, who introduces himself as Leó. The couple offer Leó shelter for the night, but Erla becomes suspicious of their guest’s account of how he arrived at their home. Jónasson ratchets up the nail-biting tension gradually, alternating the developments at the farm along with the events in Hulda’s life that led to her traumatic stupor. Fans of dark crime fiction that doesn’t pull punches will be amply rewarded. Agent: David Headley, DHH Literary (U.K.). (June)