Mandie’s Dark Iceland journey continues this week with a review of Rupture, book four in the dark Iceland series featuring Ari Thór Arason. I love this series, and you can find my thoughts on the book right here. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
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 sinister 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.
I have certainly been enjoying getting to know Ari Thór through the Dark Iceland series and one of the benefits of getting to it so late is that I don’t have to wait for the next to be published. Rupture is the 4th book in the series published in translation, so we get to find out more about what he got up to in the time between Snowblind and Nightblind. As always there are multiple stories being told but in such a way that you are not distracted or disappointed by their outcomes.
Siglufjörður is in quarantine due to a particularly bad strain of flu doing the rounds and it is during this time that Ari Thór is asked to look into events that had taken place in Hedinsfjörður in 1955 where a woman died in an apparent suicide. He is not sure that he will really find anything out but as he is essentially confined to barracks and with not much else going on he doesn’t see the harm in trying to find out if there was anything more to what happened. As he is unable to travel he turns to journalist Ísrún to do some of the digging for him whilst she is looking into the kidnapping of a small child. Always looking for that perfect story she is more than happy to assist. As if this isn’t enough there is a case of a hit and run involving the son of a prominent politician.
Watching all these individual stories unfold you have to wonder if they are all random events or if they are linked in any way. That is the beauty of Ragnar Jónasson’s writing, you are never quite sure until the end. The stark beauty of the landscape adds that little bit extra as nothing is easy to access when the weather is against you. With Rupture you are left wondering if the past is sometimes better left where it is and can any good come from digging too deeply or if you can ever truly escape it
I love the slower pace of these books as for me it helps build the tension and gives you more time to get to know the characters and become invested in the outcomes of their lives. With each book we get to learn a little bit more about what makes Ari Thór the person he is and how his personal life whilst important to him always somehow seems to take a bit of a back seat to his career.
There was definitely something a little eerie reading a book set where a town is in isolation due to a virulent strain of flu during the current situation we all find ourselves in, but that was down to my timing not the book, but it definitely helped to understand the claustrophobic atmosphere and I am now off to delve a little deeper into Siglufjörður with Whiteout.
About the Author
Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.
Books by Ragnar Jónasson