Simple on the surface, but profound in its psychological depths, Fossum's Inspector Sejer watches over a case involving a series of pranks, whose implications bite far deeper into the lives of everyone touched. The volume calls for introspection in a number of characters (not to mention those of us watching events unfold like voyeurs); we all get to think about guilt and intentions, as well as the consequences of our actions on all of civil society.
In a good entry in the Inspector Sejer series, Johnny Breskow, a troubled teen, begins pulling pranks where no one is physically harmed but are, at least, psychologically upset. He robs people not of their lives but of a sense of security. The person he would really like to harm is his mother. A lethal attempt on her backfires killing someone else. Then, a gruesome killing occurs but is Johnny responsible? Unfortunately for Johnny, he doesn't foresee the affects his pranks have nor the lengths to which some may go for revenge.
A good build up to a predictable ending
In the beginning, after reading a few pages, I thought the book looks as script for a movie:"He sat down," "She stood up," etc. But after continuing reading I realized that it is not. And despite the plain language, what is actually very attractive, the book is not superficial in content, considering its so-called genre - "Crime fiction”. No one knows at what point the ostentatious calm and well-being can be broken down. Tragedy may befall everyone and everywhere despite the apparent well-being and happiness. The main character, I think, is more a victim than a criminal. I feel sorry for him. The book is tragic in its content. The ending – well, I was expecting more closure. But is sort of “You have to guess by yourself...”
An unloved and bitter teenager plays mean pranks on people in his community with unexpectedly deadly results. Some extremely disturbing and graphic scenes.
"Ruth Rendell reads Karin Fossum. It makes sense. Both are mistresses of psychological suspense with talents for excellent police series. But while Rendell takes us into the darkest minds, Fossum peppers her plots with violence in the everyday. This tightly constructed story begins with a sleeping baby in her back yard in Oslo. Mummy is making dinner. Daddy is at work. Everything is perfect, until the parents discover their baby drenched in blood."
Globe and Mail
August 23, 2011
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