Reviewed on 1st March 2021

Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson

Genre: Fiction / Legal/Crime Thriller / Mystery
Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson Synopsis

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 . . .

Fatal Isles by Maria Adolfsson Review

A Strong, Striking and Engaging Debut Novel

Fatal Isles is the debut breakout novel by Maria Adolfsson, and promises to be the first of an engaging and exciting trilogy.

I was excited to dive into this book, I have to admit. Having spent two years recently living in Denmark, I was looking forward to seeing if the setting and writing would take me back to a country that intrigued me. Those who have lived or travelled to Denmark will understand why Scandi Noirs sell so well, it’s impossible not to be totally engrossed by the surroundings and inspired to write deep, dark, and gritty crime thrillers.

I was not to be disappointed with Adolfssons work.

Although Fatal Isles is set on the fictional collection of islands between Denmark and the UK called Doggerland, you would never believe in a million years that this place doesn’t exist unless you looked for it on a map. The descriptions of the location leave you yearning to visit and I have to admit, Adolfsson created a unique character in the setting alone.

There are very few female police detectives on Doggerland, and Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has worked incredibly hard to be one of them, so waking up in the morning and trying not to rouse the sleeping man beside you, who just happens to be your boss, is one of the most relatable yet genius openings to what was set to be a thrilling read.

When her boss’s ex-wife is found dead, Karen is put on the case… and she is the alibi for the main suspect. With very few other suspects to chose from, it’s up to Karen to dig into the pasts of others to clear her boss’s name.

The aspect of this book that I enjoyed the most, was the pacing. It’s unusual to read a police procedural that takes a slow and considered pace rather than rushing a reader through a hectic maze of twists and turns. Fatal Isles is considered. Slow and deliberate. It doesn’t rush you, but draws you in.

Support us by visiting our advertisers

I truly enjoyed the fact that Adolfsson does not only create a fabulous character in DI Honrby, but she also takes the time to explore the idea of sexism and discrimination within the police force. She touches on subjects that enable you to feel truly connected to the characters and the world they live in. To truly immerse yourself in a world she has created entirely in her own imagination.

With twists that will keep you guessing, characters that are engaging, and a setting that makes you wish Doggerland would rise from the sea, Fatal Isles is a very promising debut for Adolfsson who sure to become a truly well recognised name in crime fiction.. I very much look forward to reading more.

Many Thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers and Zaffre Books for inviting us on this Blog Tour.

The Long, Long Afternoon is published by: Zaffre Books

Buying the book using Amazon helps support the author and The Glass House without costing you a penny extra
What did you think?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Book Reviews
More from The Book Club