Synopses & Reviews
After a cruel prank is played in the peaceful town of Bjerkas, Inspector Sejer receives a postcard with this message: Hell begins now
There's someone out to cause havoc in the lives of the residents of this quiet suburb. An elderly woman opens the newspaper and see her own obituary; a terminally ill patient watches a hearse pull up outside his house; a mother, informed that her child has been in a car accident, arrives at the emergency room to find it's not true. Sejer and Skarre are called to investigate. They have an idea or two about the perpetrator: probably a man, between the ages of seventeen and sixty, neglected and invisible, creative, bitter, full of hate. Someone who has been abused and ignored, and is now tormenting others. Someone who stages dramas, who wants attention. And he's getting it the newspaper headlines are full of nicknames and capital letters: "The Beast from Bjerkas", "The Butcher from Askeland", "Grotesque Joke in Bjerketun." The pranks, though mean, are harmless. But what if the prankster goes too far?
Classic Fossum and acclaimed by the Norwegian press as her best book since The Indian Bride.
"At the outset of Fossum's unsettling eighth Inspector Sejer mystery to be published in the U.S. (after 2011's Bad Intentions), Karsten and Lily Sundelin fear the worst after they discover their eight-month-old baby girl covered in blood in their front yard. Fortunately, someone has only doused their child in blood and left her unharmed. Sejer and his junior partner, Jacob Skarre, soon discover more disturbing occurrences, from an elderly woman reading her own obituary in the local paper to a man suffering from ALS who's approached by a mortuary before he is dead. Meanwhile, the reader is privy to the thoughts of the unhappy 17-year-old perpetrator, Johnny Beskow, who has a grudge against his alcoholic mother and 'a distinct talent for mischief.' Fossum manages to create menace without a high body count, and strikes a realistic note by not allowing her investigators to wrap up everything." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
PRAISE FOR HE WHO FEARS THE WOLF
"A superb writer of psychological suspense."--The New York Times
"Fossum's presentation of her characters is marked by an intelligence and compassion that is not often found in the pages of crime fiction."--The Sunday Times (London)
PRAISE FOR KARIN FOSSUM
"With sharp psychological insight and a fine grasp on police procedure, Fossum is easily one of the best new imports the genre has to offer."The Baltimore Sun
"In spare, incisive prose, Fossum turns a conventional police procedural into a sensitive examination of troubled minds and a disturbing look at the way society views them . . . A superb writer of psychological suspense."The New York Times
Praise for BLACK SECONDS: "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 "What a spare, artful novel this is: how lean, how swift, how bitterly sad." --Washington Post
PRAISE FOR DON'T LOOK BACK
"There's no mistaking this psychologically astute, subtly horrifying crime study for a cozy village mystery or its soulful detective for one of those brainy European sleuths who make a parlor game of homicide."-THE NEW Y ORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Sejer belongs alongside the likes of Adam Dalgliesh and Inspector Morse-a gifted detective and troubled man, whom I am grateful to have met and look forward to knowing better."
-THE BOSTON GLOBE
PRAISE FOR WHEN THE DEVIL HOLDS THE CANDLE"Either somebody just slid an ice cube down your back or youre reading the opening pages of When the Devil Holds the Candle, a psychological tour de force."O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE"The story is so chillingly told that we can only marvel at the authors skill at illustrating how a random sequence of events can cause so many lives to intersect in so many horrifying ways."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"[A] chilling morality play reminiscent of Ruth Rendell or even Patricia Highsmith."-Library Journal
"[A]stand out among Scandinavian crime authors...Fossums psychological thrillers will appeal, in particular, to fans of Anne Holt and Henning Mankell." -Booklist
"THE CALLER is one of the darkest, most disturbing crime stories you're likely to read this year...Fossum is a grandmaster at the art of psychological terror."--New York Times Book Review
PRAISE FOR KARIN FOSSUM
"With sharp psychological insight and a fine grasp on police procedure, Fossum is easily one of the best new imports the genre has to offer."—The Baltimore Sun
"In spare, incisive prose, Fossum turns a conventional police procedural into a sensitive examination of troubled minds and a disturbing look at the way society views them . . . A superb writer of psychological suspense."—The New York Times
“The Story The latest novel from Norwegian author Fossum to feature Inspector Sejer begins when a couple out on a Sunday hike discover the body of a child. TV Pitch Imagine the shambling, gray-haired, unflappable Sejer as the Norwegian Columbo. Lowdown Foosum's concise, elegant writing perfectly captures the panic of a small town gripped by a heinous crime." — Entertainment Weekly
They never last very long, those anonymous joggers and dog-walkers whose only purpose in a crime story I to trip over the body in the woods. Unless, of course, they figure in a novel by Karin Fossum, who makes it her business - and the business of her uncommonly sensitive Norwegian detective, Inspector Konrad Sejer - to scrutinize in great depth and detail every person touched by a murder. In The Water's Edge (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25),
Kristine and Reinhardt Ris discover the abused corpse of 7-year-old Jonas August Lowe when they're out walking in the woods. Being a kind and gentle person, Kristine is appalled. But her bullying husband is so fascinated by the savage crime that he intrudes on the police investigation, revealing his own secret urges and destroying his marriage. And they aren't even the central characters.
Fossum takes an insightful, mostly sympathetic view of everyone in the novel, including a disarming sex offender who does his best to help the police understand the mind of a pedophile - helpful advice when a second boy goes missing. And while this happens to be an exceptionally fine story, Fossum's real narrative appeal, readily apparent in Charlotte Barslund's translation, rests on her ability to see the humanity in even the most wretched soul.
The latest novel from Norwegian author Fossum to feature Inspector Sejer begins when a couple out on a Sunday hike discover the body of a child. TV Pitch
Imagine the shambling, gray-haired, unflappable Sejer as the Norwegian Columbo. Lowdown
Foosum's concise, elegant writing perfectly captures the panic of a small town gripped by a heinous crime."
When Inspector Sejer receives a postcard with the message "Hell begins now," he sets out to uncover who's behind a string of cruel pranks that have thrown the peaceful town of Bjerkas into unrest, in this chilling new installment of the Inspector Konrad Sejer series from "the next Scandinavian literary superstar" (Chicago Tribune), acclaimed Norwegian mystery writer Karin Fossum.
One mild summer evening, a young couple are enjoying dinner while their daughter sleeps peacefully in her stroller under a tree. When her mother steps outside she is stunned: The child is covered in blood.
Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully, the child is unharmed, but the parents are deeply shaken, and Sejer spends the evening trying to understand why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell.
No one is at the door, but the caller has left a small gray envelope on Sejers mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: Hell begins now.
This is classic Fossum—and the critics are saying this is her best book since The Indian Bride.
Inspector Sejer is hard at work again, investigating the brutal murder of a woman who lived alone in the middle of the woods. The chief suspect is another loner, a schizophrenic recently escaped from a mental institution. The only witness is a twelve-year-old boy, overweight, obsessed with archery, and a resident at a home for delinquents. When a demented man robs a nearby bank and accidentally takes the suspect hostage, the three misfits are drawn into an uneasy alliance.
Shrewdly, patiently, as is his way, Inspector Sejer confronts a case where the strangeness of the crime is matched only by the strangeness of the criminals, and where small-town prejudices warp every piece of information he tries to collect. Fossum once again provides extraordinary insight into marginalized lives and richly evokes the atmosphere she captured so brilliantly in Don't Look Back.
When perpetual bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the town of Elvestad is stunned. On the day the Indian bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found in a meadow on the outskirts of town. None of the "good people of Elvestad" can believe that anyone among them would be capable of such a brutal murder. But in his quiet, formal way, Inspector Konrad Sejer understands that good people can commit atrocious deeds, and that no one is altogether innocent—including the café owner who knows too much, the girl who wants to be a chief witness, and the bodybuilder with no outlet for his terrible strength.
Another brilliantly conceived, dark novel from one of Europes most successful crime writers.
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, Idas friendsanyone who could have seen her. But no one has.
Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasnt spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weeklyalthough shes sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mothers worst nightmare in either caseto lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. As Idas relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But hes puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case hes seen in years.
Don't Look Back heralds the arrival of an exotic new crime series featuring Inspector Sejer, a smart and enigmatic hero, tough but fair. The setting is a small, idyllic village at the foot of Norway's Kollen Mountain, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquillity is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect facade.
Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable, and are now available in the United States for the first time.
When two teenagers steal a purse from a stroller, it results in an infants death. Unaware of the enormity of their crime, Zipp and Andreas are intent on committing another. They follow an elderly woman home, and Andreas enters her house with his switchblade. In the dark, Zipp waits for his friend to come out.Inspector Konrad Sejer and his colleague Jacob Skarre see no connection between the infants death and the reported disappearance of a local delinquent. And so while the confusion outside mounts, the heart-stopping truth unfolds inside the old womans home.Unflappable as ever, Sejer digs below the surface of small- town tranquility in an effort to understand how and why violence destroys everyday lives.
A married couple, Rikard and Kristine, are out for a Sunday walk when they discover the body of a boy. And a man limping away. They alert the police, but not before Rikard, to Kristine's horror, kneels down and takes photographs of the dead child with his cellphone. The imperturable Sejer and Skarre begin the investigation. The boy was an only child and it appears that he died from an asthma attack following the trauma of being raped. Meanwhile, the couple's marriage begins to unravel as Rikard becomes obsessed with the case and his own part in it. Soon thereafter another boy disappears and the mood in the town grows more tense as parents fear a predatory pedophile is on the loose.
Fossum explores here the subject of pedophilia with great intelligence and sensitivity, even as she builds an atmosphere of almost unbearable suspense.
Reinhardt and Kristine Ris, a married couple, are out for a Sunday walk when they discover the body of a boy and see the figure of a man limping away. They alert the police, but not before Reinhardt, to Kristines horror, kneels down and takes photographs of the dead child with his cell phone. Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jakob Skarre begin to make inquiries in the little town of Huseby. But then another boy disappears, and an explanation seems more remote than ever. Meanwhile, the Rises marriage unravels as Reinhardt becomes obsessed with the tragic events and his own part in them.
The Waters Edge is a riveting portrayal of a community in turmoil from Karin Fossum, Norways Queen of Crime.”
For the first time, Fossum shows her hand-- a novel about an author whose latest creation is the melancholy tale of a complacent man whose life is ripped apart by a young drug addict.
Awoman wakes up in the middle of the night. A strange man is in her bedroom. She lies there in silence, paralyzed with fear.The woman is an author and the man one of her characters, one in a long line that waits in her driveway for the time when shell tell their stories. He is so desperate that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin. He, the author decides, is named Alvar Eide, forty-two years old, single,works in a gallery. He lives a quiet, orderly life and likes it that wayno demands, no unpleasantness. Until one icy winter day when a young drug addict, skinny and fragile, walks into the gallery. Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up. And then one day she appears on his doorstep. Broken is an unconventional, subtle, and disturbing mystery from a master of the form.
About the Author
KARIN FOSSUM is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer crime series. Her recent honors include a Gumshoe Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mystery/thriller. She lives in Norway.