Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson translated by Quentin Bates **Blog Tour **
I am absolutely delighted to be part of the Blog Tour to celebrate the publication by Orenda Books of Ragnar Jónasson's Rupture which is the fourth in his Dark Iceland series. I have read and reviewed the first in the series, Snowblind and have a review on the second ( Nightblind ) lined up. With only Blackout still to read, I have put my dissatisfaction at failing to review them all in order, to one side and concentrated on introducing you to what has proved to be a fabulous 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.
This is one book which I have been saving up to read as a treat to myself and it did not disappoint. I find Ragnar Jonasson's series of Dark Iceland books to be so readable. Encapsulating classic crime story telling with lashings of atmosphere and character driven plot, each book so far has seemed like a finely crafted gemstone. I have to say that for me, Rupture might just turn out to be the jewel in the crown- so far and here's why...
I love the way that the setting in Iceland is used to add such drama and atmosphere to the story telling. In Rupture, this seems to be taken to a new level as the remote fjord of Hedinsfjörður stands in darkness. The effect it has on anyone who goes there is palpable. The town of Siglufjörður is caught in quarantine as there has been an outbreak of a life threatening infection. The people in the town are described as 'laboratory rats' who have been locked away in a glass walled cage which no one is tempted to open. You sense both the fear and isolation which everyone feels as they all stay inside their houses, making as little contact with other people as possible. You can't help wondering what evil or malevolence is lurking beneath the surface.
I enjoyed meeting up with the detective, Ari Thór. Glimpsing the fault lines in his relationship with Kristin added to the depth of the character, as did the anguish which Ísrún, the reporter, was hiding from those she loved. Keeping secrets seems to be a way of life for the inhabitants of the town and it is fascinating to follow the three strands of the story and to see them slowly unravel.
This is a beautifully written book and I am sure that special mention must go to Quentin Bates whose translation has such fluidity. The complexity of the plot never seems over-egged. You are simply taken on a wonderful reading journey.
In short: beautiful but chilling prose which captures the claustrophobia created when secrets bear down from the past.
Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teaching copyright law at the Reykjavík University
Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a newsreporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarkingon a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, Englishand 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 2015, with Nightblind (winner of theDead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout 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, and had rights sold in fourteen countries. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.
You can connect with Ragnar on Twitter or on his Website .
Thanks to Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.
Catch up with the rest of the Blog Tour