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In the Darkness: An Inspector Sejer Novel (Inspector Sejer 1) Paperback – 19 Jul 2012

49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846555256
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846555251
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A compelling read" (Sean Farrell Irish Sunday Independent)

"Vintage Fossum" (Henry Sutton Daily Mirror)

"The latest offering from the "Norwegian queen of crime" is a novel of mighty power. In The Darkness, the first Inspector Sejer novel, is intricately crafted with undeniable pedigree." (Ruth Dugdall)

"In the Darkness had me hooked from the start. Fossum's writing is insightful and descriptive without being showy. There are no tricks or cliff hangers, just confident storytelling, refreshingly free from sudden bursts of implausibility. Her characters feel like real people, living in a real world, where money is tight and motivations are murky." (Julie Corbin)

"It is Karin Fossum's wry observations of human frailty and the warmth with which she portrays even her flawed characters - that make this book such a pleasure to read. It's rare for me to find a book that I love so much I can't put it down, but this was one of them." (Penny Hancock)

Book Description

The first ever Inspector Sejer novel by Karin Fossum, who Jo Nesbo has called 'A truly great writer'

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Many of us have been reading Karin Fossum's detective series featuring the Norwegian Inspector Sejer. This is not a blood and gore series, but a well thought out, intellectual detective who works the clues and with a little bit of luck solves his case.

I have read several books in the series, and, now we have the first book. Why it took so long for the first book to surface is a mystery. It is an excellent novel, maybe not as exciting as some of the others in the series, but it does seem strange to me. Sejer is a fascinating figure in this series. We learn a little bit about Sejer, his daily life, a nightly whiskey with his big dog warming and drooling all over his feet. He lost his wife to cancer. His only child, a daughter, has returned from Africa with a husband and a beautiful grandson. Life should be good, but Sejer does not remember the last time he was happy. He is not depressed, just lonely. His work takes his time, and his new grandson he will make room for.

On an early spring day a body in water is reported by an older woman. She is not the first to see this body, but more of that later. A man has been knifed several times, how long he has been in the water is anybody's guess. It turns out, he was murdered about the same time as a young call girl. Are these murders related? In police work it is unusual for there to be a coincidence. Sejer and his team go to work, clues are uncovered, witnesses, family and any unusual occurrence is scrutinized. Sejer has his work to,do, and with a little bit of luck, the murderers will be found.

Inspector Sejer is one of my favorite of detectives. He is calm, collected, intelligent, thoughtful and kind. He does not need brawn nor threats. He treats everyone with respect. His team follows his command and any loose canon will find their way out. The writing by Karin Fossum is superb, on mark, with terrific character development. Now, on to,the rest of the series.

Recommended. prisrob 08-01-13
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MR E WILSON on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read a huge amount of Scandinavian Noir from most of the better known authors and this rates amongst the best. Karin Fossum, unlike some I could mention, doesn't wonder off topic and nothing unnecessary is included which contributes to the enjoyment of reading, for me anyway. Like the best writing you are not aware of time passing and get thoroughly engrossed in the story.

Great plot and believable characters. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Inspector Sejer's exploits.

Recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By elkiedee VINE VOICE on 14 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I confess I'm normally a crime series order obsessive. However, when it comes to translations of Scandi-crime novels into English, I generally have to accept that I will have to step out of sequence. This opening novel in the Inspector Sejer series demonstrates that there are good reasons for this. Don't Look Back (An Inspector Sejer mystery) is a much stronger introduction to Sejer.

Here, Fossum juggles two stories, though they will clearly come together. One is about Sejer - as well as his investigation and his colleagues, we learn a little about his past - he is still mourning a dead wife.

Much of the novel though is told from the point of view of Eva, who is struggling to continue her work as an artist while bringing up a young daughter as a single parent. Money is tight and when she meets an old schoolfriend who seems to have done well financially, she is tempted to try out Maja's ideas. She is at Maja's flat when something horrible happens. Worse, Sejer seems to know she has something to tell him and won't drop his enquiries.

This was an enjoyable read on the whole, and I read on to see what happened, but there are some rather long, digressive passages and pacing is an issue.

I would recommend it to those like me who have read some of Fossum's later books and enjoy the background. For new readers, Don't Look Back is better written and better paced.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Though newly released, this is Karin Fossum's first Inspector Sejer novel, which she originally published in Norwegian in 1995. There are some signs that it's a bit earlier than other novels in the series, but Konrad Sejer basically arrives fully formed in this first book, and he gets his original dog back.
The story starts with a dead body floating in a river; it's found by a woman and her young daughter. The woman decides not to call the police. The novel tells the story of why she can't. The story is told mostly in flashbacks, both from Sejer's point of view, and Eva, the woman who finds the body.
As is often the case, Sejer's part in the story is quite small. Mostly it's the story of what happened to Eva and her friend Maja. It's all going to be familiar ground to Fossum fans, though it's gripping enough, despite being in flashbacks.
Fossum creates a desperate situation, but perhaps one that's a bit easy to see through, so the flashbacks are sometimes a bit boring. You kind of know what's happened so it's just a matter of how it happened.
There are some tense set pieces, especially when Eva drives to a remote chalet and has to hide in a composting toilet, an idea used in a Scandinavian film recently too. There is a good sense of fate catching up with Eva the whole way through. When Fossum is describing Eva's thoughts and reasoning, the novel is at its best.
But when there's dialogue between the characters, it's probably at its worst. The dialogue is stilted and unconvincing, and is more like something from a children's book at times. This may well be a fault of the translation, but it's a common thread through pretty much all Karin Fossum's books. There's an odd grammatical style that I find offputting too.
Still, this is a readable book with a fairly gripping story. I don't think it's KF's best, but neither is it the worst.
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