Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson

Today I hand the blog back over to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson. Our thanks to the published, Zaffre, for providing an advance copy of the book for review, and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting us to join the tour. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

A remote island. A brutal murder. A secret hidden in the past . . .

In the middle of the North Sea, between the UK and Denmark, lies the beautiful and rugged island nation of Doggerland.
Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has returned to the main island, Heimö, after many years in London and has worked hard to become one of the few female police officers in Doggerland.

So, when she wakes up in a hotel room next to her boss, Jounas Smeed, she knows she’s made a big mistake. But things are about to get worse: later that day, Jounas’s ex-wife is found brutally murdered. And Karen is the only one who can give him an alibi.

The news sends shockwaves through the tight-knit island community, and with no leads and no obvious motive for the murder, Karen struggles to find the killer in a race against time.

Soon she starts to suspect that the truth might lie in Doggerland’s history. And the deeper she digs, the clearer it becomes that even small islands can hide deadly secrets . . .

Mandie’s Thoughts

Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has worked hard to get where she is and is one of the few female police officers in Doggerland, having to put up with the usual behaviour of a mainly male force. When she wakes up next to her boss Jounas Smeed in a hotel room, she knows that things are bad, what she doesn’t know is they are about to get a whole lot worse as his ex- wife is found murdered and she is put in charge of the investigation.

Karen knows that if there was anyone else, they could have picked they would have done but this seems to make her more determined to solve the case. She is also desperate for no one to find out what had gone on the night before the murder even though she is the best alibi her boss could get.  

As she tries to piece together who would want to kill Susanne Smeed, she finds that although it was well known that she not a very likeable person, nothing seemed to point to a motive to her murder. She is put under pressure to find the killer and clear Jounas so that he can return to work and take back control of the department. Despite the animosity from colleagues and some of her superiors, she is determined to get to the bottom of what went on and is convinced that the answer may lie in the past.

This is a book that has quite a few twists and turns that will keep you guessing right until the end. It was hard not to like Karen and all her flaws. It’s these that make her seem real. The fact that she is willing to take on the prickly estranged daughter of Jounas for no other reason than it is the right thing to do shows that she has a compassion others and will do what is right even if it is not strictly within the rules.

Although Doggerland is a fictional island somewhere between the UK and Denmark, you would not have guessed it. Maria Adolfsson has managed to create that perfect blend of close-knit community, that seems to know everyone, yet has a distrust of outsiders or those that may not have the same ideal of living as they do. This is not a fast-paced book and the first half is certainly a slow burn as the author sets the scene and builds up to the pacier second half. As this is the first in the series, I am hoping that further books are translated into English soon so that I can continue to discover more about Doggerland and its female DI.

About the Author

Maria Adolfsson lives in Stockholm where she, until recently, worked as a communications director and now writes full-time. The Doggerland series has been sold in to 18 languages to date, and has sold over 200 000 copies in Sweden alone.

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