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The Caller: An Inspector Sejer Mystery (Inspector Sejer Mysteries) Hardcover – August 14, 2012
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The Butterfly Garden
She’s the FBI’s key to unlocking a sociopath’s grisly garden—but can she be trusted? Learn More
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"[A] chilling morality play reminiscent of Ruth Rendell or even Patricia Highsmith."-Library Journal
"[A]stand out among Scandinavian crime authors...Fossum’s psychological thrillers will appeal, in particular, to fans of Anne Holt and Henning Mankell." -Booklist
"THE CALLER is one of the darkest, most disturbing crime stories you're likely to read this year...Fossum is a grandmaster at the art of psychological terror."--New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really loved this book! It kept me interested the entire time. Fossum's characters are always very complex and intriguing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by LagunaLady
Good Read. A little bit macabre, in a good way. Like the inspector and will read more.Published 3 months ago by D. Edwards
A prankster is in our midst. This psychological mystery explores in depth the harm pranks can do. While Jacob and Sejer search for the prankster, the lives of those affected are... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tripower53
This book was not up to the standard I expect from Ms Fossum because I could not buy into the premises that she presented I.e. Read morePublished 6 months ago by C. Armon
This is another well written and thoughtful novel by Karin Fossum. One person acts out in small but mean ways because he feels it is the only way to gain some control in his sad... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Novel Destination~Used Book Emporium
WHY DID THE AUTHOR CHANGE SEJER'S SKIN CONDITION FROM PSORIASIS TO ECZEMA?Published 10 months ago by Carol V. Wormuth