Synopses & Reviews
Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Ida's friends, anyone who could have seen her. But no one has.
Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasn't spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weekly — although she's sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mother's worst nightmare in either case: to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder.
As Ida's relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But he's puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case he's seen in years.
"Gumshoe Award-winner Fossum (When the Devil Holds the Candle) once again wraps a blanket of methodical police work and infectious psychological tension around a relatively quiet crime in her fifth Inspector Sejer mystery to be made available in the U.S. When nine-year-old Ida Joner takes off for town (never named) on her new bike one afternoon and is never seen again, suspicion falls on Emil Johannes Mork, a silent, simple man. Emil, however, doesn't appear to have the heart of a killer. The narrative shifts smoothly among those affected by the tragedy: Emil's beleaguered mother, a good woman with little life of her own; a male cousin of the missing girl who may suffer some secret guilt; and, of course, Insp. Konrad Sejer and his younger colleague, Jacob Skarre. Sejer is a beautifully created character, a thoughtful, lonely man with great empathy. As he investigates Ida's disappearance, it's not so much the facts of the case as the impact of it on the people who surrounded the girl that fuel the story. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"What a spare, artful novel this is: how lean, how swift, how bitterly sad....[E]ven seasoned crime aficionados should savor the ineluctable undertow of dread surging beneath the surface..." The Washington Post
"It doesn't take a terrorist, a serial killer or some paranormal force to rattle the insular Norwegian communities Karin Fossum writes about in her quietly unnerving thrillers. In Black Seconds, all it takes is the disappearance of a child." Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"[A]nother dark, intense, and impossible-to-put-down investigation....Fossum’s work is still outstanding. Essential reading for fans of Scandinavian crime fiction." Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Karin Fossum's novels featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant, Jakob Skarre, are international bestsellers. In the United States, she has been awarded the Gumshoe Prize (2007) for When the Devil Holds the Candle and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller (2008) for The Indian Bride. Fossum lives in a small town in southeastern Norway.