As promised, here are the next three Konrad Sejer novels in Norwegian author Karin Fossum’s addicting series. The dates shown are the US translation publication dates. As of this date, there are two new Sejer’s in the wings:
2010’s Bad Intentions will be available in the US this August. 2011’s The Caller does not have its US publications date yet. I’m sure down the road this blog will have those reviews of this series that continues to delight, as Fossum has the patient and kind Sejer dissect crime in Norway’s tiny rural towns.
2007 The Indian Bride: In one of Fossum’s characteristic moves, she takes us inside the mind and life of bachelor Gunder Jomann, a man of simple means who never spends money on himself. So when he travels to India, he raises a few eyebrows; and when he comes back a married man, even more. Jomann returns alone to prepare for the arrival of his bride. As the buildup to this day looms for him, his sister’s car accident will bring forth a series of horrific events, as the villagers of his small town of Elvestad are stunned when a woman’s battered body is found in a field on his wife’s arrival day.
The town’s inhabitants all come under close scrutiny by Sejer and his colleague Skarre. Everyone has a secret to protect, from the young woman who is a key witness to the owner of a local shop. It is up to Sejer to decide whose secret led to a horrific murder. With her usual care for getting inside the heads and psyches of her characters, Fossum has written another one that will keep you turning pages at night.
Next up is Black Seconds, which also came to the US in 2007. The story opens with an ordinary day, when almost-ten year old Ida Joner setting off on her brand-new bicycle into town. Then the girl vanishes without a trace. Hundreds of volunteers comb the neighborhood, searching for the little girl, and the media is whipped into a frenzy. It takes the calm reassurance and clear thinking of Konrad Sejer to find the answer to this puzzling case.
Quietly unnerving, Black Seconds illustrates how the disappearance of a child can affect a small village as much as any terrorist or serial killer.
2009’s Water’s Edge is the last case for Sejer I can review at this date.
A young married couple, Kristine and Reinhardt Ris, set out for a Sunday walk in the woods. What could be more normal? Until they stumble on the body of a young boy, just as they see a man limping away. To make matters worse, as the couple await the arrival of the police, Reinhardt takes multiple pictures of the dead boy’s body.
While Sejer makes his inquiries, he delves into the stories of the people in the town and those who knew the dead boy. Then another boy disappears without explanation, and the Ris’s marriage begins to disintegrate.
Fossum’s novels are like M&M’s: you can’t read just one. In places the syntax is evocative of the Norwegian of their origin, and this adds to the flavor of this series. I will be anxiously awaiting the August arrival of the next installment.