Book Review: The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason

August 16, 2021


The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason is the first book in the detective Konrad (Konráð #1) series. Mr. Indriðason is a well-known, award winning, author from Iceland.

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Minotaur Books
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 1250765463

Book Review: The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason
My rat­ing for The Darkness Knows4
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I have enjoyed Nordic-fiction for years, although I took a bit of a break from the genre, it was nice to come back. Never being in the area, I enjoy many of the descriptions, lifestyle, culture and mood. The advantage of noir is that it tries to reflect the life as is, without the use of rose-colored lenses.

The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason takes place in a small town in Iceland, a place I always wanted to visit. A small town where, it seemed, you are one or two connections from anyone else living there. Think Mare of Eastown, or Broadchurch set in Iceland. Thankfully, the Internet has allowed readers to view pictures of these wonderful place (such as Langjökull glacier) for a more complete picture.

I enjoyed the character of detective Konráð. The author spends much time telling us about his history, his relationships with wife, son, and childhood. Combined together with the pace of this book, a slow burn, the narrative worked very well.

The two things which bothered me about the novel was the translation, and the ending. I couldn’t figure out if the translator was an English person, or someone who had to look up words in Google translate and literally write them. It doesn’t matter though; I actually enjoyed the challenge to figure out what it means on several occasions. Nevertheless, the ending was a bit awkward, tying up loose ends in a story which loose ends are a bonus. None of these, however, impaired my enjoyment of the book.

I felt that this novel had many strengths, nuanced characters, a messy investigation, as well as Icelandic culture. The pacing worked very well for me, matching with the Icelandic bleakness which I otherwise find fascinating.


The body of a businessman is discovered by tourists on Langjökull glacier. Furthermore, the man was murdered 30 years ago.

Konráð, the detective who investigated the case, has retired, but is now unofficially re-investigating the murder on behalf of the victim’s sister. Accordingly, putting a new meaning to the term “cold case”. Albeit, Konráð still has his old contacts, and lives in a small town which he has some clout to investigate.

Buy The Darkness Knows from*
More Books by Arnaldur Indriðason*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indriðason

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