He Who Fears the Wolf, Karin Fossum
Translator: Felicity David
Series: Konrad Sejer, 3
People say that when Errki Johrma is around bad things tend to happen. He’s like a bad omen. No one wants to be around him and people keep their distance. Twenty-six year old Errki was involuntarily committed to an asylum. When the story opens, he escapes out of the asylum through a window and disappears into the nearby woods. Soon after, a local woman, in her 70′s is found dead on the footsteps of her house. She was brutally murdered. A kid with his bow & arrow runs and tells the sheriff that he saw Errki in the woods of the dead woman’s house. Inspector Konrad Sejer gets called in to investigate.
Meanwhile the story takes a surprising turn when Sejer is walking to work one morning and senses trouble before it starts. A bank is robbed and the robber takes off with the money and takes a hostage. Konrad suspects the hostage to be a woman working in cahoots with the suspect. The local sheriff tells Konrad that the robber will be in for a rude awakening when he learns who he has with him. I guess you can say that the suspense part of the story is what will happen with the two unlikeliest pair– a murder suspect and a bank robber– trying to stay one step ahead of the law. Continue reading
These are the most anticipated reads for me this year:
Broken Harbor – Tana French (Viking Adult, July 2012)
Kill You Twice – Chelsea Cain (Minotaur, Aug 2012)
Phantom – Jo Nesbø (Knopf, October 2012)
Live by Night – Dennis Lehane (William Morrow, Oct 2012)
Commentary: I’m reading Broken Harbor right now. This is Scorcher Kennedy’s book. He was a minor character in Faithful Place. Broken Harbor came out in the UK July 19th and the US release date is July 24th. Huh? Weird timing that. I’ve had Phantom for a long time now but decided to hold off reading/reviewing until closer to the US release date. Last but not least, I am looking forward to Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night, a sequel of sorts to his first historical fiction novel, The Given Day that I still haven’t read yet but I will and when I do this blog will be a barren place. Continue reading
It’s good to be reminded of what’s coming out especially if you use the library. It’s good to get those requests in early. This is not an exhaustive list.
BLACK SKIES (UK, June 21, 2012) by Arnaldur Indridason, previous title was Outrage (UK) Synopsis: A man is making a crude leather mask with slits for eyes and mouth, and an iron spike fixed in the middle of the forehead. It is a ‘death mask’, once used by Icelandic farmers to slaughter calves. He has revenge in mind.
Meanwhile, with Detective Erlendur absent, his baseball-loving colleague Sigurdur Óli is in the spotlight. A school reunion has left Sigurdur Óli dissatisfied with life in the police force. Iceland is enjoying an economic boom and young tycoons are busy partying with the international jet set. In contrast, Sigurdur Óli’s relationship is on the rocks and soon even his position in the CID is compromised: when he agrees to visit a couple of blackmailers as a favour to a friend he walks in just as a woman is beaten unconscious. When she dies, Sigurdur Óli has a murder investigation on his hands. Continue reading
The Caller (Inspecter Sejer 8), written by Karin Fossum and translated from the Norwegian by K.E. Semmel. This is my second book by this author, her latest and the eighth book in the Inspector Konrad Sejer series, that’s only out in the UK as I write this. Karin Fossum is the master at creating quiet moments that subsequently build up in intensity and suspense. That’s her trademark. Another strength is her recreating the daily minutiae of regular, everyday people whose lives are suddenly changed as a result of a crime. For her latest, we watch as the community reacts/responds when someone carries out cruel jokes on random strangers. In her usual style, the author peers closely at how these crimes affect each victim’s life and that of the intrusive offender while at the same time trying to solve the case.
The story begins with a sinister feeling of sorts, in third person narrative, with a happily married couple enjoying their dinner together while their infant daughter sleeps soundly and quietly in the garden. Out of the shadows comes a stranger, who quietly sneaks up to the pram, while the parents are oblivious to the danger. If this were a movie, you all would shriek in horror at the most likely scenarios. Thus begins a wave of crime and terror as Inspector Konrad Sejer and his partner, Jacob Skarre try to find a jokester who finds amusement in other people’s pain and misery. The tricks are cruel and before they begin in earnest, Inspector Sejer receives an ominous postcard telling him of what’s to come. An elderly woman, idly contemplating her mortality and still in good health, reads her own obituary in the newspaper. A man in the last stages of ALS finds a hearse parked in his driveway, invited there by an anonymous caller. Ultimately, these antics get more serious and snowball out of control. Continue reading
In The Indian Bride (2007) also known as Calling Out For You in the UK, is translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund. A woman is found beaten to death in a meadow in the tiny village of Elvestad. It’s a quiet community with a total population of two thousand people. The local cafe serves as heart of the village. A place where the young & the old hang out for news and gossip. Inspector Konrad Sejer says that this is the most horrific crime he’s saw in Norway. The police turn to the community for help as they try to find the killer.
I thought this was a terrific read although I did have some issues with certain character’s actions in here. I see why Karin Fossum is popular but she won’t be to everybody’s tastes. She writes atypical, unconventional crime fiction stories that for me are refreshing. Her novels focus more (like she said) on the psychology of her characters and examines the impact and the aftermath of a murder in a community. You have a foreign woman found brutally beaten in a meadow. This is an unplanned crime. This is a crime of rage and impulsiveness. Continue reading