‘The night was no longer silent; she could hear the seven billion people who lived on this earth.’ – The Whisperer by Karin Fossum

September 16, 2019 at 7:33 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

  This was a tough one. Tough to get through, I mean. The problem was not excessive violence or a byzantine plot. There was, in fact, very little violence – at least until the long-awaited crime actually takes place. And by that time, I was actually relieved. This is because the plot had been moving […]

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Hell Fire, by Karin Fossum

September 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

  In quick succession, we are introduced to three sets of people: Mass Malthe, whose grown son Eddie is dependent on her; Bonnie Hayden and Simon, her five-year-old son; and Inspector Konrad Sejer, his second-in-command Jakob Skarre, and Sejer’s dog Frank, a somewhat somnolent Shar-Pei. Frank is the sole source of comic relief in this […]

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The Water’s Edge, by Karin Fossum (Mysteries go global, part four)

November 11, 2009 at 9:41 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

In this novel, Karin Fossum has dared to portray not one but two child molesters as less than monstrous human beings. In one scene, Inspector Konrad Sejer and his second in command, Jacob Skarre, interview Philip Akeson, a convicted sex offender. They are hoping he can assist them with  a case they are currently working […]

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“‘This is what I’ve always feared.'” – Black Seconds, by Karin Fossum

November 7, 2008 at 3:30 am (Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

One afternoon in the small Norwegian town of Glassverket, nine-year-old Ida Joner rides off on her yellow bicycle to the local newsstand, where she always buys her favorite magazine and some treats. Not an extraordinary errand. But what is extraordinary is that Ida fails to return home. Her mother Helga is rapidly consumed with anxiety. […]

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The Indian Bride, by Karin Fossum: a book discussion (yes, another one! )

April 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm (Book clubs, books, Mystery fiction)

Last night , the Usual Suspects enjoyed a particularly bracing discussion of The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum. Mike provided us with some fascinating background on this author, who is currently being hailed as Norway’s “queen of crime.” Now in her fifties and enjoying great success in her chosen field of endeavor, Fossum still regards […]

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Best Reading in Crime Fiction 2019: Part Two

December 21, 2019 at 2:42 am (Best of 2019, Book review, books, Mystery fiction)

Killing with Confetti by Peter Lovesey. Always reliable, always enjoyable The Whisperer by Karin Fossum. Okay, I put it on the list, but this would never be my favorite Fossum novel. The writing was excellent, as always, but the narrative was almost entirely given over to an interiority that quickly became, for this reader, downright […]

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Big effort combined with big schlep culminates in a rewarding experience: Current Trends in Mystery Fiction

October 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm (books, Mystery fiction)

This was a program I presented to some members of The Village in Howard, a fine local organization (with a national affiliation) which I have the privilege to belong to. I prefaced my remarks by saying that this was a subjective assessment – by me – of how things currently stand in the field of […]

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Current trends in crime fiction, the books, part two: international authors and settings

February 20, 2017 at 9:08 pm (books, Mystery fiction)

[For Part One of this series of posts, click here.] IV. International authors and settings The Laughing Policeman and the other nine Martin Beck novels by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (Sweden) Here is what the Salomonsson Agency says on its website about Sjowall and Wahloo: “If any crime novels deserve to be called modern […]

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Best reading in 2016: Mysteries, part one: international and classic

December 31, 2016 at 8:42 pm (Best of 2016, Mystery fiction)

   Oh, boy,,, Where crime fiction is concerned, it was a field of amazing richness this year, that is for sure. I decided that it would be easier if I begin by mentioning my favorites according to subgenre, wherever possible. So here goes: International I wrote about this group in a recent post, but somehow […]

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Trends in crime fiction, part three: international, mainly Nordic and French

December 4, 2016 at 5:44 pm (Book review, books, Mystery fiction, Trends in crime fiction)

This particular trend may not be as hot as it was in the heyday of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (published posthumously in 2005), but it’s still with us. For one thing, we continue to be fairly inundated by the Scandinavians. My long running favorites among them are Karin Fossum of […]

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