Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson

Panic! Murder! Intrigue!

rupture3Rupture by Ragnar Jónasson

Genres: Crime, Mystery, Nordic Noir
Published: 2012
Series: Dark Iceland #3
Rating: 4

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.

First of all, can we just take a moment to marvel at this cover? The first time I saw it I couldn’t figure out what it’s supposed to be. Some creepy church? Well, not until I actually started reading it on my tablet did I figure it out. Although innocent, the picture still conveys the sinister vibes that permeates the whole story.

Screaming neighbour surely wouldn’t be an issue here!

Similarly to the previous installment in the Dark Iceland series, Rupture is also running on multiple story lines, one more intriguing than the other.

An attack a couple years ago left a woman dead.

A rising football star’s career suddenly came to a stop.

A politician was forced to retire to avoid a scandal.

A baby goes missing.

And the pièce de résistance is a death from 1955. Ruled as a suicide, but the dead woman’s only living relative has some questions. Ari Thór, who managed to calm his tits since we last saw him, is contacted by Hédinn after he and a friend discover a strange photograph from the early 1950s, and in it a mystery stranger. Could he have something to do with Hédinn’s aunt’s death?

Siglufjörður is under a quarantine due to a deadly strain of flu virus popping up a few days ago, so it’s not like our Ari has better things to do. Between giving interviews to Ísrún whom we met previously and pining after Kristin this mystery comes as a breath of fresh air. Ísrún proves herself as a great detective yet again, and the pair unravels a chilling secret about the four people who lived in the now abandoned fjord so many years ago.

What I love about this series and Nordic books in general is how much the story focuses on the people. They are just as important as the mysteries. After his turbulent reunion with Kristin in the previous story, Ari Thór certainly resembles more the kind and caring man we got to know in Snowblind. Someone from the past is back to bring some chaos into his life though. Poor guy. Ísrún is also fighting her own demons, while trying to keep her family relations reasonable.

The translation, or rather the editing was preposterous though. The horrible grammar, overuse of pronouns to the point I had no idea what’s going on and weird sentence structures really raised my hackles.

Nevertheless, Rupture is a captivating, dark mystery, steeped in ominous atmosphere.4

Dark Iceland Series
1. Fölsk nóta (no English version)
2. Snjóblinda (Snowblind)
3. Myrknætti (Blackout)
4. Rof (Rupture)
5. Andköf (Whiteout)
6. Nàttblinda (Nightblind)


  1. It’s frustrating as hell reading a poor translated book, and having to fill in the gaps. But, we also have to understand that, sometimes, with certain languages, and this probably being one of them, there are no direct translations, or correlations in the English and that causes all sorts of problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s defo a thing! I often wonder when i read english how would i translate stuff to Hungarian. Back in the day when i read a lot of translated books i usually enjoyed the ones that were translated by people who were writers themselves. They usually managed to come up with some cool stuff 🙂


      1. Yeah, probably the best translators, as you say, would be other authors. I can see that working better than some who just translates without understanding context. In theend, it’s a shame because reviewers might not get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not figure out that cover- at all, and now I absolutely love it! Love your review, too, Norrie. I’ve always meant to try this serie, even if they aren’t perfectly written (it sounds like the translation is pretty messy!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m also a huge fan of Nordic crime and agree with you that one of the things that make them great quite often are the characters. Sounds like this one really delivered!

    Liked by 1 person

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