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The Caller: An Inspector Sejer Mystery (Inspector Sejer Mysteries Book 10) [Kindle Edition]

Karin Fossum , K.E. Semmel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“Pranks can have lethal consequences, even when they seem harmless to start with . . . A poison bonbon that ranks with the best of Ruth Rendell.”—Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly

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



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fossum is admired by Ruth Rendell and you can see why'" Daily Mail "A contemporary Patricia Highsmith, her offbeat obsession with the psychology of the criminal mind, and the human cost of criminal activity, pays off handsomely yet again" Irish Times "It is a sign of Fossum's sophistication that the reader comes to empathise with the teenaged tormentor - a deliberate ploy which makes the double-twist ending all the more shocking" Sunday Telegraph "Fossum's Norway is an apposite setting for a long dark night of the soul" Independent "With a focus on characters and the impacts of crime, Fossum's psychological thrillers will appeal, in particular, to fans of Anne Holt and Henning Mankell" Booklist

About the Author

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 Henning 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. For a guide to all of the books in the Sejer series from our friends at Crime Fiction Lover, click here bit.ly/1g4ro49

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547577524
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (August 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MZN29O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,353 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on track September 24, 2011
Format:Paperback
My wife and I are both Karin Fossum fans and both felt she had dropped a bit with the last few books but with The Caller she is back on track and in Fossum form. If you have not read any of the work of this author, who is listed as one of the top 50 greatest crime writers by the British newspaper The Times, then start with The Indian Bride. If you are a Fossum fan already this will be a welcome read in the Inspector Sejer series. Fossum is strong on drawing characters and their lives and in this book she is working how lives can become tragically affected by incidents that are seemingly minor. Or so it begins. There is a Fossum-style twist ending; altogether a satisfying read for a Fossum fan. If you haven't sampled her before don't start with this one, start with Don't Look Back, or When the Devil Holds the Candle, or my favorite The Indian Bride. this particular book is a 2011 edition from a British publisher: I have seen in the past some of her books are then translated again into American English and published state-side, sometimes with a different title(.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling psychological thriller July 11, 2012
Format:Paperback
I am an ardent admirer of Karin Fossum's works, and my favorite is The Indian Bride (Inspector Sejer Mysteries). When I saw The Caller, I could not resist picking it as a Vine selection. The Caller is part of Fossum's Inspector Sejer Mysteries, but Sejer does not figure quite as prominently in this novel as he does in many of the other books.

From the beginning, readers are made aware of the antagonist in this novel. Johnny Beskow is a troubled 17-year-old unemployed youth who lives with his alcoholic mother in the housing project of Askeland, a neighborhood that is pictured as bleak and unwelcoming. Johnny's anger at his neglect and abuse by his mother is contained within his troubled mind, imagining all sorts of horrors he'd like to inflict upon a woman he nicknames "the hyena". The only person Johnny seems able to truly care for and connect with is his aging, sickly grandfather, Henry Beskow, who lives in a different area. Johnny visits this old man regularly and sees to Henry's comfort, relishing being needed.

Unfortunately, Johnny's inner rage finds a target in an unhealthy pursuit of playing pranks on unsuspecting innocent people - a young family; an elderly woman; a dying man and his wife; etc. Soon, the entire area is abuzz with news of this prankster, and Insp. Sejer and his assistant Jacob Skarre try to piece together the puzzle hoping to find the identity of the prankster before things go too far as they inevitably do.

I found this story riveting because it explores the psyche of a troubled, neglected teen and how this in turn takes form in little acts of malice that eventually becomes something so much bigger and terrifying, disrupting and destroying the lives of his victims, perhaps forever.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A One Day read August 16, 2012
By BGRT
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Started at 9 ended at 9. Couldn't put it down. You will end up talking to yourself.

Characters are very well developed but what got me most was the randomness of the evil on a lark and the repercussions it causes over time. No one is safe from life. Some of the scenes are truly heart rending and evoke strong emotions. Rather like the butterfly effect, you never know the ramifications of acts. I particularly liked the last two pages that just faded and left you to ponder... Is there really any justice, fairness or forgiveness? There certainly is no security (or a benevolent, loving god). Powerful writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Terrorism in Norway August 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While "The Caller" is an Inspector Sejer mystery, Johnny Beskow might be considered a co-main character. "A slight figure with a talent for mischief," young Johnny engages in an escalating series of awful psychological attacks through the course of the book. While Lily and Karsten are indoors, their baby Margrete sleeps innocently outdoors in her carriage, when Johnny begins his campaign of terror by soaking her in blood, terrifying and permanently shattering her parents' peace of mind.

Fossum writes in an easy, flowing narrative, smartly building the mystery's tension to its dramatic conclusion. She effortless weaves three story strands together: Johnny's viewpoint, often set at home where he lives with his alcoholic mother, typically asleep in a drunken stupor; a peek into the victims' lives, so we can see the emotional trauma Johnny causes; and the track of the investigation pursued by Sejer and his partner Skarre.

It's my second Fossum Sejer book, and the inspector remains a sketchy presence for me, although readers of this book will learn a bit about his home life, his own fears of aging (many of Johnny's victims are elderly), and his family, principally his grandson Matteus, a dancer. But readers get more of Johnny: his torture at never having known his father, his hateful relationship with his mother, and a surprisingly tender, caring relationship with his aging and ill grandfather, Henry.

As Johnny's cruel pranks continue unsolved, he becomes "invincible. I'm faster. I'm Johnny Beskow. They can't even catch me in dreams.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Karin Fossum is an amazing writer, her novels are well thought out and...
Karin Fossum is an amazing writer, her novels are well thought out and complex. One of the best mystery writers out there today.
Published 3 days ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best Crime writers
Published 1 month ago by john hemmer
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a kindle edition and read for a book ...
This was a kindle edition and read for a book club. The book was poorly written and worth a read if you this is your goal.
Published 1 month ago by Dorothy Edwards
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great read.
Published 1 month ago by SOPHIA REYES
5.0 out of 5 stars I've read and liked all Fossum's books
I've read and liked all Fossum's books. This one is a bit different, in terms of the fundamentals, from the 'classic' mystery I gravitate to. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Terry Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All her books are great
Published 1 month ago by Beverly Spatt
3.0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian Mystery
I'm afraid I do not enjoy this type of book. We read it at my book club and we all agreed it had the typical 'scandinavian' darkness to it and complex psychological twists. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. N. Sanders
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book but....
I am a fan of this author. Her plot is developed well, with a memorable range of characters and events. However, yet again I find her endings to be too neat and tied in a bow. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Leah
4.0 out of 5 stars The Caller will make you glad they are not calling on you!!
Incredible read for how short it is...250 pages or so. Although you know the culprit from the start...Karin keeps you involved and wanting more the whole way!! Read more
Published 4 months ago by lamonte johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Always a good read
I like all Karin Fossum books - always so well plotted and surprises around the corner. Worthwhile reading - look forward to the next book.
Published 4 months ago by CMB
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More About the Author

KARIN FOSSUM is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer crime series. Her recent honors include a Gumshoe Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mystery/thriller. She lives in a small town in southeastern Norway.

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