Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Black Seconds by Karin Fossum

So I have been reading a lot about Karin Fossum, the Norwegian suspense and police procedural author, from a lot of blogs about how wonderful her books are. They have just recently been translated into English throughout the past 5 or so years, and I decided to try one. I will admit that I almost returned this one back to library unopened, but for some reason decided to hang on to it and try it out. I am glad I did, it was an enjoyable read and one I give a B+.

Inside cover:

Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minues after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Ida's friends- anyone who could have seen her. But no one has.

Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasn't spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weekly, although she's sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mother's worst nightmare in either case- to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. As Ida's relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But he's puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case he's seen in years.

I thought Ms. Fossum does a great job exploring and explaining the grief that Ida's mother Helga experiences through the loss of her daughter. When she becomes missing, the pain is evident though the pages, and while Helga takes a bit of a backseat to the story as it goes on, she is always in the back of the reader's mind. The descriptions of the reaction by the press, neighbors, and family members just feel like the real thing and it almost feels disturbing that you would be reading, spying even, on this town's and family's grief. Ms. Fossum does a fantastic job drawing the reader in and having you desperately care for each character in the story.

So you may be saying to yourself, if this was such a beautiful book, why the B+ and not an A, and I had to mark it down because of the lack of suspense. I had the whole mystery figured out, even the little tidbits, probably less than halfway through the story. I read suspense books to be thrilled and like being surprised while I read, so it does disappoint me a bit. I definitely plan on reading more books by Ms. Fossum, and have even placed one on hold through my library. While Black Seconds is part of a series, I definitely did feel like I was missing out on anything while reading it out of order.

I just checked my library's online catalog and discovered I have three books that have come in. I plan on picking them up from the library later on this afternoon and will start reading the next in the Hunter Morgan trilogy that I started this past weekend (well, actually read book 2). I am dying to find out who the serial killer is who is running crazy in a small beachside town. I have an idea to who I think it is and want to find out before I forget. Happy Reading everyone!

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