Blurb: 1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…
In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinsister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.
Haunting, frightening and complex, Rupture is a dark and atmospheric thriller from one of Iceland’s foremost crime writers.
My Rating: 5/5
Review: I don’t know how he does it but Rangar Jonasson has produced another story that gets under your skin. Within the first 5 pages of the book I was hooked, time disappeared as I read and I didn’t even notice, I’m sure this happened when I read Snowblind too. The atmosphere is haunting, I read a lot of this at night with not a sound to be heard outside and I was glad I was tucked up in bed and the doors were locked. I feel perfectly safe at home but reading a story which, among other things, involves the death of a woman in an extremely isolated place made me want to huddle under the duvet with a light on and remind myself that it’s only fiction and set in a different country from the one I live in.
The writing is beautiful. While there are other amazing books out there none of them are written as wonderfully as these ones are, atmosphere, tension, shock and joy are crafted out of nothing but words on a page. Whether it is because it was originally written in a different language and Icelandic books are written differently I don’t know, Ragnar Jonasson’s are the only Icelandic books I have read so I have no basis for comparison, but whatever the reason the writing is perfection. The books may not be as thick as some are but they don’t need to be, the author fits the entire story into fewer pages without losing anything at all.
I know I’m rambling but when I read these books and others that are equally as stunning I come to the end having lost all power of speech and coherent thought. All I can do is sit there and be amazed and stunned at the journey that I have just been on, one of emotional turmoil, feelings of claustrophobia, fear, tension, shock, joy, awe at the writing, worry for the characters in the book and many other things.
Among many comments I have seen about these books they are referred to as classic crime and I would agree, they aren’t fast-paced joyrides but have their own subtle way of drawing you into the story within pages, keeping you hooked throughout the rest of the book and leaving you both stunned and desperate for more once they are finished. I never bother with these lists of books you must read in your lifetime but if I were to write one myself Rupture would be at the top of the list because it is perfection and an unmissable read.
Author bio: Ragnar Jonasson (www.ragnarjonasson.com) is the Icelandic writer of the Dark Iceland crime series set in Northern Iceland. Snowblind (2015) is the first book in the Dark Iceland series. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, and works as a lawyer in Reykjavik. He is also a teacher at Reykjavik University Law School and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen of Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir, and has appeard on panels at Crimefest in Bristol, Left Coast Crime in the USA, Bloody Scotland in Stirling and Iceland Noir in Iceland. Ragnar’s short story Death of a Sunflower was published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine January 2014 issue, the first story in the magazine by an Icelandic author. His second Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine story, A Letter to Santa, was published in the January 2015 issue. Ragnar’s short story Party of Two was published in the Crime Writers’ Association 2014 anthology Guilty Parties, edited by Martin Edwards. Ragnar lives in Reykjavik with his wife and daughters.