Jen's Reviews > Rupture

Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson
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's review
Dec 20, 2016

it was amazing

Oh what a story. Much like the preceding novels, there are no big whizz bang revelations, no high speed chases and no intense moments of jeopardy but then this is what I like about this series of books. It is so beautifully written, such an absorbing read that relies on the building of atmosphere to deliver chills that it does not need to be. The way in which Ragnar Jónasson establishes and delivers the picture of the remote Icelandic town of Siglufjörður is just perfect, and more so with the descriptions of Hédinsfjörður which seems incredibly bleak and isolated. The descriptions of the journey made by one of the residents of Siglufjörður in order to take pictures of the remote fjord are inspired, as is much of the series, by his own Grandfather and his writings on the town, but are perfectly captured and recounted on the page here that it feels new and undiscovered.

There are probably what seems, at first, to be three distinct threads throughout this book. The story of Jórunn and her unexplained death which Ari Thór is investigating; the story of the hit and run involving the politician’s son who thinks he is finally about to get his big break in the music industry, and the abduction of the small child by someone who may well have been stalking the family home. The story moves seamlessly between the three investigations with Ísrún providing the only true link between them. It means that a large portion of the book moves away from the traditional setting of Northern Iceland into the streets of Reykjavik and yet the atmosphere is no less taught.

We already know Ísrún from her appearance in Black Out and are aware of her struggles, both personally and professionally. It is nice to learn even more about her character throughout the book, seeing her in her family situation as well as her professional one. She is a journalist through and through, with an engaging and enquiring mind, a nose for a story and a need to find the truth, if only not to be scooped by another journalist. In many respects she is very similar to Ari Thór with his need to discover the answer to the puzzle and this certainly helps the story to flow back and forth between the two locations.

The mixture of cold case (no pun intended) and new is matched by the perfect pacing. There is more tension and a greater sense of jeopardy in the current cases, particularly that of the missing child, and Jónasson creates this with assured ease, tapping into the thoughts of the boys step-father, a man on the edge who is holding too many secrets of his own, and the utter despair and desolation of his mother as she weeps for her missing child. Even the urgency of Ísrún’s investigation, her frustration when she cannot get information from her police informant, is indicative of the flow of the story. It informs the pace.

When it comes to the cold case back in Siglufjörður, the story visibly slows, echoing the isolation and slow yet bitter winds of its location. The creeping and growing sense of foreboding that Ari Thór feels when visiting the ruined farmstead with the Priest is surely also felt by the reader and whilst drawn in by whispers of the past, you also feel the need to escape. To move away as fast as possible before you too fall fowl of the depression which must have affected the family who lived there.

Although not as dark as its predecessor, Black Out, it is still a story with a tainted and deepening shadow at its heart. All of the events are built upon a foundation of lies and deceit. Whatever the resolution, there can be no winners and the lives of all involved are clouded by indelible changes. Another superb read and a fine example of the way in which Jónasson uses atmosphere to create the ultimate sense of dread while not sacrificing the integrity and authenticity of the setting.
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Reading Progress

December 18, 2016 – Started Reading
December 18, 2016 – Shelved
December 18, 2016 –
December 18, 2016 –
December 18, 2016 –
December 20, 2016 –
December 20, 2016 – Finished Reading

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