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 Sejer’s 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.
About Karin Fossum
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.
Lily Sundelin feels magically connected to her baby Margrete, but that doesn’t prevent someone from pouring blood over the little girl as she sleeps in her pram just outside Lily’s kitchen. In short order, some trickster—the same person?—places a premature obituary for Gunilla Mørk, dyes one of Sverre Skarning’s sheep orange, calls the Memento funeral home to come pick up the body of Helge Landmark, ravaged by ALS but very much alive, and summons Evelyn Mold to Central Hospital, where her teenage daughter Frances has not been brought after an accident on her bike. Nor is Sejer himself left out. A note slipped under his door announces: “Hell begins now.” Fossum (Bad Intentions, 2011, etc.), who has little interest in playing whodunit, hints early and often that the jokester is delinquent Johnny Beskow, seething with resentment over his alcoholic mother’s neglect of him, hungry for the love of his grandfather Henry, and determined to harm Henry’s neighbor Else Meiner, who turns out to be one resourceful girl. Instead, the focus is on the frustrated Johnny and the widening circle of calamity he spreads (two of his victims are hospitalized as collateral damage). – Kirkus Reviews
Disturbing the Peace - ‘The Caller,’ by Karin Fossum, and More
The New York Times Book Review – August 17, 2012 (Excerpt)
Thrillers not so thrilling lately? Serial killers too silly? Police detectives too sensitive? Wondering where all the tough guys went? I give you the Norwegian author Karin Fossum, whose new novel, THE CALLER (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25), is one of the darkest, most disturbing crime stories you’re likely to read this year.
Like Patricia Highsmith, the queen of the night, and Ruth Rendell, the high priestess of darkness, Fossum is a grandmaster at the art of psychological terror. Her thoughts are gloomy, her mind is subtle and her writing is extraordinarily supple (for which some credit must go to her new translator, K. E. Semmel). But what makes Fossum so fearsome is her willingness to portray the unthinkable. In previous books, she has created a sympathetic pedophile (“The Water’s Edge”), made monsters of old people (“When the Devil Holds the Candle”) and killed off a bride on her wedding day (“The Indian Bride”). Here, she boldly goes where few writers dare to go — after children, who are both victims and villains in this story and far more dangerous than any adult.
Karsten and Lily Sundelin’s perfect life collapses when they find their sleeping baby stripped and drenched in blood. Other inventive, if extremely hurtful, tricks follow, the nasty work of 17-year-old Johnny Beskow, who lives with his alcoholic mother in a nearby housing estate. The disturbed boy thinks he’s only shaking his neighbors out of their complacency; and to some extent he’s right, because the burghers in this cautionary tale are too smug to pay any mind to kids like Johnny, until one of them creeps out of the woods and into their backyards. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.