Those have you who have been following my blog for a while may know that I am a fan of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series, so needless to say I was eagerly anticipating the release of Rupture, the latest in the series which was published in paperback this month. This is the fourth in the series, and I really enjoyed the previous three: Snowblind, Nightblind and Blackout.
‘There was nobody to be seen. But the memory of last night’s unwelcome guest followed him like a ghost.’
What I love about this series is the way the atmosphere is built and the sense of unease that is present throughout and in Rupture this is no different. From the opening chapter we get a sense that something bad may happen, that someone is being watched – but for what reason. This is one of multiple threads that run throughout the book which are seamlessly woven together. Policeman Ari Thor begins an attempt to piece together the details of a mysterious death which occurred in the 1950’s. This case has remained unsolved for decades, and taking place on an isolated fjord in Hedinsfjordur, there are very few people who know the truth. However, a photograph emerges which reveals that not everything was as it seemed. Alongside this, news reporter Isrun, who featured in Blackout, is investigating another sinister case in Reykjavik. And as Ari Thor and Isrun search for the truth, a child’s disappearance adds to the tangled web of secrets, and with Siglufjordur under quarantine due to an infectious virus, it is a time of fear and uncertainty.
‘He was still cold, the night air made even more chilling by the enveloping darkness; it seemed almost to press on his chest, threatening suffocation.’
As is typical of Jonasson’s writing, brilliantly translated by Quentin Bates, it creates a wonderful atmosphere and chilling setting. The descriptions of Iceland are beautifully written and in particular the depiction of the isolated fjords and the harsh landscape really add to the haunting tone of the book. In Rupture, the story is focused on the past, and how past events and secrets can come back to haunt us, and have an impact on life in the present day. The multiple mysteries that are investigated throughout are certainly intriguing, and as more details are revealed it is interesting to see how certain things are connected. But it is not just past mysteries that come to the surface, aspects of the characters’ past also emerge which add to the stories complexity. Rupture can be read perfectly well as a standalone, but having read the previous books this certainly helps in building a greater picture of the characters – particularly in terms of Ari Thor’s relationship with girlfriend Kristin.
‘He gazed out over the water, which at this moment was so tranquil; it was hard to imagine that this remote place could ever be anything other than a spot where beauty thrived. Ugly brutality was far away. Or was it?’
Rupture is an impressive addition to the Dark Iceland series. A haunting, atmospheric thriller and a chilling story of secrets, past and present.
Rupture was published in paperback on 15th January 2017 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the Rupture blog tour. You can check out the other stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below.