The Water's Edge, by Karin Fossum

Bibliography Karin Fossum

The Inspector Konrad Sejer Series

Other novels

  • I et annet lys (1992)
  • Søylen (1994)
  • De gales hus (1999)
  • Jonas Eckel (2002)
  • Natt til fjerde november (2003)
  • Brudd (2006) Broken, 2008

Awards (selected)

  • Tarjei Vesaas' debut prize 1974, for Kanskje i morgen
  • Rivertonprisen 1996, for Don't Look Back!
  • Glass Key award 1997, for He Who Fears the Wolf
  • Brage Prize 2000, for Calling ut for You
  • Martin Beck Award 2002, for Black Seconds
  • The Gumshoe Awards, best European crime novel 2007, for When the Devil Holds the Candle
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Mystery/Thriller for 2007, The Indian Bride
See also our short biography of Karin Fossum

The Water's Edge (Den som elsker noe annet, 2007) is Karin Fossum’s eight book in the Inspector Sejer series and the sixth to be translated intoThe Water's Edge, by Karin Fossum English. The translation by Charlotte Barslund is very good - impressive, actually.

A middle aged couple - Reinhardt and Kristine Ris - on their usual Sunday walk in the woods find the body of a small boy lying at the foot of a tree. He has a T-shirt on, but is naked from the waist down. He has been murdered.

Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant Jacob Skarre arrive at the scene of the crime and find out that the little boy is eight-year-old Jonas August Løwe. The couple had seen a man on the track in the woods walking away from the location of the body. Their descriptions of the man varied slightly, but the woman, Kristine, said that he looked like H.C. Andersen, the famous Danish writer. It also turns out the boy has been sexually abused.

Unexpectedly, the finding of the body triggers changes in the the Ris' relationship. Kristine starts to long for a child. Reinhardt seems to excited and somewhat obsessed with the murder. The relationship seems to be falling apart.

Sejer and Skarre contact all the known pedophiles in the area, they interview the children at the school, the parents and teachers, but they don’t get anywhere. Things get even worse when another boy - Edwin - disappears.

The Water's Edge is a great book from Karin Fossum. The only thing I did not like about it was that Fossum was a little too eager to impart on her readers all her knowledge about the subject of pedophilia. On the other hand, she does not condemn but writes instead in a somewhat distanced and detached style which I found very appropriate. Also, Karin Fossum manages to show us how the terrible incidents are viewed both from the point of view of the perpetrator and by detectives Konrad Sejer and Jacob Skarre.

The Water's Edge is a well written, sober book dealing with a very difficult subject in a sensitive and enlightening fashion. It is a great read and highly recommended!

Karin Fossum, Norway's bestselling "queen of crime", brings literary elegance and moral ambiguity to the detective novel.
-- The Independent

As usual, I am very impressed by Karin Fossum's talent and originality.

Bad Intentions, by Karin Fossum

Bad Intentions (Den onde viljen) is the ninth novel in Norwegian and the seventh in English in Karin Fossum’s excellent series about Inspector Konrad Sejer. It is a psychological thriller about living with bad conscience and a police procedural where we partly know whodunit.

The plot is very interesting. Bad Intentions, by Karin Fossum Early one September day, three old friends - Axel, Reilly and Jon - go on a weekend trip together. Jon has severe psychological problems and suffers from anxiety attacks. Axel and Reilly have picked him up at the hospital and brought him to their favorite place, a remote cabin in the forest, to cheer him up.

They are restless, and decide to row out on the Dead Water Lake, the little lake next to the cabin. Out on the lake, Jon starts to feel very anxious and jumps into the lake. One of the friends wants to try to save him; the other one prevents it. They decide to construct a shared story about what happened that presents it as a suicide, and they wait until the next morning before calling the police.

When the police, Konrad Sejer and his assistant Skarre arrives, Sejer and Skarre quickly detect some problems with the story the two boys tell them. Some of the facts do not fit the story all that well. But the boys – the only witnesses - are consistent and tell the same story. Sejer strongly feels that the boys are hiding something. However, finding what they hide and the truth behind Jon’s death will prove very difficult. Weeks pass without further clues, and then in a nearby lake the body of a teenage boy floats to the surface.

If you like Karin Fossum, you will probably also like Ake Edward­son, Inger Fri­mansson and Karin Alvtegen!

Bad Intentions is an intelligent psychological crime novel that deals with bad conscious and its effects on the human mind. Fossum has created a smart plot where lies lead to further lies and actions to cover the initial lies, and very cleverly describes the consequences of this within a friendship. As the context changes, what was once mutual trust turns gradually into fear and distrust. And, as Fossum shows, it is sometimes very hard to hide the truth – it has a way of popping up when you least expect it!

I was very fascinated by this book. It is excellently written and cleverly plotted. It just feels like a very believable, very real story, and at the same time as it is suspenseful and entertaining, it is also a book that made me ponder. I strongly recommend Bad Intentions – it is a marvelous crime fiction book!

The Indian Bride, by Karin Fossum

The Indian Bride (Calling Out for You), by Karin Fossum(First published in 2000, The Indian Bride is the US title, the book was published in the UK as Calling out for You.) Karin Fossum is sometimes referred to as the "Norwegian Queen of Crime". Her books are excellently written, with well thought out plots, lots of suspense, and great characterizations. She always penetrates deep into the psychology of her characters, and often displays considerable sympathy for criminals and outsiders in general.

The Indian Bride is Karin Fossum's fifth crime novel featuring Sejer, and a book for which Karin Fossum was nominated for the British Gold and Silver Dagger Award in 2005.

The first part of The Indian Bride tells the somewhat tragic and sad story of the events that transpire when the rather unremarkable Gunder Jomann, a middle-aged bachelor in a remote Norwegian village, decides to go on holiday to India to find a wife. The descriptions of the ensuing events are told in a very moving way. The author is truly gifted at making the reader care about her unglamorous characters.

Jomann does indeed find a wife, and returns as a married man. But on the day his Indian bride is due to join him, he is called to the hospital to his sister's bedside. The local taxi driver that is sent instead to meet the bride at the airport, returns without her. Then the town is shocked by the news of an Indian woman found bludgeoned to death in a nearby meadow.

Now Sejer and his colleague Skarre are called in. They eventually piece together the story that the reader knows from the first few chapters, and the story becomes one of narrowing down the suspects from the village community and trying to obtain a confession from the chief suspect.

Praise for Karin Fossum:

Calling out for You is Fossum's fifth police novel featuring detectives Sejer and Skarre. Not only the definite highlight of the season, it is in my view among the best Norwegian crime novels ever written. ...a well-written and disturbing novel, a tale that would stand fast even without the element of crime.”
--Dagbladet (Norway)

Read more about Karin Fossum and reviews of her other books!

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