Review: The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason

Title: The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason
Detective Konrád Series Book One
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Retired detective Konrad returns to a haunting cold case in The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason, the “undisputed King of the Icelandic thriller.” —The Guardian (UK)

A frozen body is discovered in the icy depths of Langjökull glacier, apparently that of a businessman who disappeared thirty years before. At the time, an extensive search and police investigation yielded no results—one of the missing man’s business associates was briefly held in custody, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.

Now the associate is arrested again and Konrad, the retired policeman who originally investigated the disappearance, is called back to reopen the case that has weighed on his mind for decades.
When a woman approaches him with new information that she obtained from her deceased brother, progress can finally be made in solving this long-cold case.

In The Darkness Knows, the master of Icelandic crime writing reunites readers with Konrad, the unforgettable retired detective from The Shadow District. This is a powerful and haunting story about the poisonous secrets and cruel truths that time eventually uncovers.


The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason is a reflective mystery about a thirty-year-old cold case. Set in Iceland, this newest release is the first installment in the Detective Konrád series.

Retired Detective Konrád revisits the missing person investigation of  Sigurvin, a successful businessman.  Interest in Sigurvin’s old case is suddenly reopened after his  frozen remains are discovered during a glacier tour. Konrád worked on the case and he was never sure they were investigating the right suspect. His renewed investigation brings up old memories of the death of his beloved wife, Erna, and unpleasant childhood memories. Although a bit melancholy, Konrád utilizes the few police resources available to him as he attempts to identify Sigurvin’s killer.

Konrád also tries to figure out if the death of pedestrian Villi Hákonarson might also be linked to Sigurvin’s death. Villi’s sister believes her brother might have known something about Sigurvin’s murder but she has no what that information might be.  Konrád search for witnesses several years after Villi’s death take him to familiar places from his own childhood. His growing up years with his abusive criminal father were very unhappy and he is brutally honest with himself as he reminisces about years past.

The Darkness Knows is an engrossing and sometimes morose mystery with an intriguing storyline.  Konrád has plenty of flaws but he is also determined to bring Sigurvin’s killer to justice. He is quite invested in catching the killer but he sometimes sidetracked by the memories and regrets of years gone by. The investigation is quite interesting and moves at a steady pace. With a stunning turn of events, Arnaldur Indridason brings this suspense-laden mystery to an unexpected conclusion.

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Filed under Arnaldur Indridason, Contemporary, Detective Konrád Series, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Review, Romance, The Darkness Knows

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