In The Darkness – Karin Fossum
Review of ‘In the Darkness’
About The Book
Eva is walking by the river one afternoon when a body floats to the surface of the icy water. She tells her daughter to wait patiently while she calls the police, but when she reaches the phone box Eva dials another number altogether.
The dead man, Egil, has been missing for months, and it doesn’t take long for Inspector Sejer and his team to establish that he was the victim of a very violent killer. But the trail has gone cold . . .
In the Darkness is a character driven plot set in Norway. The novel unfolds slowly as we are introduced to the main characters, Eva Magnus, a struggling artist with a young child and the stoic, Inspector Sejer. Page-by-page, the reader learns more of the characters and their lives. Fossum portrays how the life of an ordinary person, living an ordinary life, can suddenly find their world irrevocably transformed by a chance encounter. Before long, more than one life has been affected, as portrayed in this thought-provoking book.
Review by Susan Condon
I felt the dialogue may have lost a little in translation and the first half of the book moves at a slow pace, but it is well worth persevering in order to enjoy the way Fossum creates the characters so beautifully, giving the reader a real sense of who they are. With Sejer at the helm, we watch as he puts the pieces of the puzzle together to eventually find the murderer. While visiting Jan Henry, the son of murdered Egil, he offers to return with the police car next time he visits and you wonder if he will bother. He does. And it is through these little details that Fossum creates the compassionate Sejer so that he is a character we want to see more of in future books.
It has a slightly different twist on the regular crime thrillers I normally read, but as the plot unfolds and the tension ratchets up I could not put it down. A couple of twists and turns added to the enjoyment as it came to a satisfying finale.
Karin Fossum began her writing career in 1974. She has won numerous awards, including the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic crime novel, an honour shared with Hanning Mankell and Jo Nesbo, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her highly acclaimed Inspector Sejer series has been published in more than thirty countries.
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LOUISE PHILLIPS is the author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first two novels, RED RIBBONS and THE DOLL'S HOUSE, were published in the US. She has recently been awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland, and her latest novel, THE HIDING GAME, will be published on September 5th 2019. Louise Phillips is the crime writing mastermind behind writing.ie's Crime Scene blog.