Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
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.
Welcome to my stop on the Rupture blog tour!
I read Snowblind just a few days ago then immediately had to start Rupture to read more of Jonasson’s gorgeous writing and to find out more about the intriguing Ari Thor. There’s just something about him that’s captivating and leaves you wanting more.
The residents of Siglufjörður are in a panic because a serious illness was brought to their community by an out of towner. When the man dies then someone else falls ill, they are quarantined and a bit of hysteria ensues. Ari Thor is one of the few people that still leaves his house as he has to work even though there isn’t much keeping him busy at the moment. When he’s approached by Hedinn, a man with some questions about an old and mysterious family photograph, he welcomes the distraction. He enlists the help of Isrun, a news reporter who is juggling multiple stories. What they uncover is a dark family secret which some serious implications for the future.
There are a few storylines running alongside each other here. First, Ari Thor is digging into the old photo from the fifties that’s linked to a cold case that was apparently solved, but he’s not so sure, then Isrun is covering the kidnapping of a child, and finally a politicians son is run over and killed. When links are discovered it’s very clear that someone is hell bent on revenge, but who? And why?
No one does atmospheric more beautifully than Jonasson, and one of my favorite scenes in Rupture was when Ari Thor and the local priest visit Hedinsfjörður to follow a lead about the photograph taken there. It’s completely uninhabited now and is totally dark and deserted when they visit. I’m not one to be afraid of the dark yet I found myself a bit panicky and anxious for them to hurry up and get out of there, it was very chilling and creepy.
Jonasson’s writing style is very purposeful and totally unmatched by anyone else. Every single word has a meaning deeper than its literal definition, yet there is a simplicity and a quiet gentleness about it. Despite this elegant approach, he is still able to convey a quiet intensity that is more powerful than an in your face approach. He’s very cautious about what he reveals to the reader only letting you in on secrets when the timing is absolutely perfect.
This is another classic murder mystery with an icy Icelandic twist, so very perfect for a winter read. As always, the characterization is deep, rich and complex which adds another layer to the story. I can’t say enough good things about this book or the author, just go ahead and read this series already.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the lovely Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy.
About the Author:
Ragnar Jonasson is the award winning author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.
His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.
The second book in the series, Nightblind, also became a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.
Ragnar is the winner of the Mörda Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Nightblind.
The third book in the series is Blackout, published in the UK in 2016.
Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK and it has also been on best seller lists in France.
Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to 14 countries.
TV rights to the series have been sold to production company On the Corner in the UK, producers of Academy Award winning documentary Amy.
Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and recently set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA, in Reykjavik.
He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.
From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.
Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.
He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.