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Karin Fossum

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He Who Fears the Wolf
Calling Out for You

When the Devil Holds the Candle
Don't Look Back

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He Who Fears the Wolf

Inspector Sejer is hard at work again investigating the gruesome death of an old woman. The main suspect, a local misfit named Errki Johrma, was seen nearby at the time of the murder by a delinquent twelve-year-old boy. When a bank robber accidentally takes Errki hostage, Inspector Sejer finds himself investigating an unlikely association between Errki, the young boy and the demented bank robber. Confronting his own nagging doubts about the case, Sejer patiently works out the clues under the cloud of small town prejudices and marginalized lives.

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Calling Out for You

Another terrifying and psychologically convincing murder mystery in the critically acclaimed Inspector Sejer series. NP Gunder Jomann, a quiet, middle-aged man from a peaceful Norwegian community, meets Poona on a trip to India and the two agree to marry. Gunder returns home to prepare for her arrival, but the day Poona is due to arrive, he is summoned to the hospital as his sister has been involved in a car crash. The driver sent to collect Poona in Gunder’s place fails to meet her. Then the body of an Indian woman matching Poona’s description is found in a cornfield on the edge of the community and a murder enquiry is set underway.

This baffling mystery — for what motive could there be to bludgeon a newly arrived foreigner to death — sends shock waves through the community. Inspector Sejer and Skarre are called in to investigate. Increasing suspicion surrounds people’s mundane daily activities, and even when one man’s confession seems to tie up all the loose ends, there remains the uneasy feeling that all is not as simple as it first appears.

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When the Devil Holds the Candle

A psychological thriller, where the line between victim and killer is fine, and easily crossed.

Teenage troublemakers, Zipp and Andreas, unwittingly commit murder when they accidentally kill a baby in the course of a petty crime. Unaware, the pair move onto their next crime. Having followed an elderly lady home, Andreas enters her house armed, as always, with his trusty knife. Zipp waits nervously outside, but his friend never reappears. He will never see him alive again.

Fossum toys with the roles of victim and killer and pens the inner monologue of her characters to chilling effect. It is the mental processes behind the sinister act that form the real pieces to this puzzle, and they fall gradually into place as Irma and Andreas converse and reveal more information about themselves. We are forced to question the familiar stereotype — that it is always bad people who do bad things.

While the reader may be party to the truth of this crime, the police remain flummoxed. There is no reason for Inspector Sejer to see a connection between the infant’s death and the disappearance of a town troublemaker. With Zipp too frightened to come forward, the police must wait for the evidence to present itself before they can begin to comprehend the unsettling nature of the case on their hands.

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Don't Look Back

In her novels, Norway’s Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum evokes a world that is terrifyingly familiar. In Don’t Look Back, we are introduced to the tough, ethical Inspector Seger.

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