13 March 2010

Review: THE WATER'S EDGE, Karin Fossum

Harvill Secker, 2009
Translated from Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund
ISBN 978-1-846-55170-3, 227 pages.
#6 in the Inspector Sejer series.

They were a couple, but they had been married for many years and they no longer held hands. The woman was wearing a raspberry red coat, the man a white windbreaker. He was constantly one step of her, tall, self-assured and fit. The woman watched him furtively while she contemplated her own thoughts.

As they begin the return path of their usual Sunday afternoon walk in the woods near the lake, Kristine and Ris Reinhardt meet a man leaving the forest. Shortly after that they come across the body of a young boy naked from the waist down.

Identifying the boy is not very difficult for Inspector Sejer and his colleague Jacob Skarre. He has already been reported missing by his anxious mother. Working out how he died is more difficult, as is locating his murderer.

The search for the murderer almost takes a back seat to some of the issues that Fossum wanted to explore in this novel - why couples grow apart, how paedophiles are made, why something that is regarded as a sexual offence in one society has traditionally not been so in other cultures.

The disappearance of another ten year old boy from the same school, this time a morbidly obese one, serves to complicate the murder investigation, and introduces other elements in the investigation of human behaviour.

THE WATER'S EDGE is a relatively quick read but raises some disturbing social issues.

My rating: 4.7

You may be interested in checking the following reviews:
  • Books to the Ceiling:
    In this novel, Karin Fossum has dared to portray not one but two child molesters as less than monstrous human beings.
  • International Noir Fiction:
    Karin Fossum likes to shake up the formula for her crime fiction (and for crime fiction generally) in her Inspector Sejer novels. The latest to be translated into English, The Water’s Edge (Den som elsker noe annet in the original Norwegian, literayy "he who loves something else), is no exception
  • Do You Write Under Your Own Name:
    .. it took me a long time to read The Water’s Edge.
  • Petrona on Euro Crime:
    The first half of this novel is more of a dissection of a marriage than a mystery.
  • DJsKrimiBlog
    Fossum´s foremost strength is her ability to describe the emotions of all the people who get involved in the case
My other reviews of Karin Fossum novels on this blog:


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this review, as always. I have to admit, I have to be in the right frame of mind to read books like this, that raise those darker questions. However, I admire authors who can "go there" and still create well-written stories.

Jaime said...

I just (last night) finished listening to Fossum's Black Seconds, and I was in awe. I can't wait to read more in this series!

Anonymous said...

I have not read this author yet, but I intend to. This book sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

Dorte H said...

I am very impressed by Karin Fossum´s books, and though I don´t consider this one her best, I enjoyed it very much. Her insight in the criminal mind seems very convincing.

Kerrie said...

Dorte I have now linked to your review - couldn't find it first off because the title was in Danish (although I had an idea you had written about it)

Kerrie said...

Margot, Jaime, and Kay - Fossum's books these days seem to spend quite a lot of their time considering "issues" rather than getting on with the story. And yet they are quite short, and relatively quick reads.


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