Another brilliantly conceived, dark novel from one of Europe’s most successful crime writers.
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.
“No one can thoroughly chill the blood the way Karin Fossum can . . . will put you away, no questions asked.”—Los Angeles Times
Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable. They evoke a world that is at once profoundly disturbing and terrifyingly familiar.
“What grips readers is the enormous amount of emotion [Fossum] works up as we get closer and closer to reliving the murderous event in question . . . Hell Fire is close to heartbreaking, and there are not many novels, thrillers or otherwise, you can say that about.” — Los Angeles Times
A gruesome tableau awaits Inspector Konrad Sejer in the oppressive summer heat: a woman and a young boy lay dead in a pool of blood near a dank trailer. The motivation behind the deaths of Bonnie Hayden and her five-year-old son, Simon, is mysterious—there is no sign of robbery. Who would brutally stab a defenseless woman and her child? In a parallel story, another mother, Mass Malthe, navigates life with her adult son, Eddie. It’s a relationship some would call too close, since Eddie’s father, a man he obsesses over, abandoned them many years ago. As Sejer searches for the truth behind the seemingly senseless killings, Hell Fire deftly probes why we lie to those closest to us, and what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.
“There’s always something dark hovering on the edge of the page, something about getting what you wish for and the crushing irony when that gift proves your undoing.” — New York Times Book Review
In the middle of the night, a man breaks into a woman’s house, finds her bedroom, and wakes her up. She’s the author who could save his soul by telling his story. He’s one of many characters waiting their turn—except now he’s cut the line. After all, she could die soon, leaving him lost forever. He refuses to leave until she gives him a name. And so his story begins . . .
Alvar Eide, forty-two and single, works in an art gallery. He maintains a quiet life—until one icy winter morning when a drug-addicted young woman walks into his gallery to escape the cold. Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up. Soon after, she appears on his doorstep. The author is finally telling his story . . . but she never promised a happy ending.
Broken is an unconventional, disturbing, and thought-provoking mystery from a master of the form, and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for her crime novel The Indian Bride.
“Fossum crafts remarkably incisive psychological suspense: novels that carry the headlong momentum of thrillers and the acuity and weight of literary fiction.” —The Washington Post Book World
“I always eagerly await a new novel from Karin Fossum.” —Ruth Rendell
“Claustrophobic and intense.” —The Independent (UK)
Carmen and Nicolai failed to resuscitate their son, Tommy, after finding him floating in their backyard pond. When Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, Carmen reports that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down syndrome, wandered into the garden while Nicolai was working in the basement and she was cleaning the house. Skarre senses something is off with Carmen’s story and consults his trusted colleague, the famed Inspector Sejer. An autopsy reveals Tommy’s lungs to be full of soap.
When Sejer and Skarre revisit the couple, Carmen, an epileptic, changes her story, confessing that she’d been knocked unconscious by a seizure while bathing Tommy. When she came to, she found him drowned in the tub and, horrified and frightened, threw him into the pond.
But Skarre and Sejer’s doubt is not appeased and the case is reopened. What more could Carmen be hiding? And what lengths will she take to cover her guilt? As Carmen’s own family starts to doubt her, Skarre and Sejer work to find the truth.
Shrewdly, patiently, as is his way, Inspector Sejer confronts a case where the strangeness of the crime is matched only by the strangeness of the criminals, and where small-town prejudices warp every piece of information he tries to collect. Fossum once again provides extraordinary insight into marginalized lives and richly evokes the atmosphere she captured so brilliantly in Don't Look Back.
Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasn’t spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weekly—although she’s sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mother’s worst nightmare in either case—to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. As Ida’s relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But he’s puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case he’s seen in years.
“One of the standouts of the Nordic thriller boom.” — New York Magazine
“No one can thoroughly chill the blood the way Karin Fossum can.” — Los Angeles Times
“A truly great writer and explorer of the human mind.” — Jo Nesbø
“The queen of Norwegian crime fiction . . . Prolific and brilliant.” —Men’s Journal
Charlo Torp, a newly recovered gambler, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn’s apartment, flowers in hand. Determined to pay off his debts, Charlo plans to steal the old woman’s antique silver collection. But he didn’t expect her to put up a fight. The following morning, Inspector Sejer is called to the scene to investigate. Harriet is dead, her silver missing, and the only clue in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. When Charlo sees the news, he knows he should be relieved, but he’s heard of Sejer’s amazing record — the detective has solved every case he’s ever been assigned to.
Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: How far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterward?
Eva Magnus and her daughter are out walking by the river when a man’s body floats to the water’s surface. Eva goes to call the police, but when she reaches the phone, she dials another number altogether.
The police find the body anyway. Inspector Sejer and his team quickly determine that the man, Egil, died in a violent attack. But Egil has been missing for months and the trail to his killer is cold. It’s as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute, found dead just before Egil went missing. Sejer sets to work piecing together these two impossible cases; it's not long before he realizes that they aren’t as separate as they previously seemed.
The distraught parents rush to the hospital where they discover that she is unharmed. Inspector Sejer is called in and spends the evening trying to comprehend why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell.
The corridor is empty, but the caller has left a small grey envelope on the mat. Inside it, Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: Hell begins now...