by Karin Fossum
Don't Look Back heralds the arrival of an exotic new crime series featuring Inspector Sejer, a smart and enigmatic hero, tough but fair. The setting is a small, idyllic village at the foot of Norway's Kollen Mountain, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquility is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect facade.
Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable, and are now available in the United States for the first time.
What I think of it
Although the pace is slower than the thrillers that I love, I enjoyed the human side of this book. The author skillfully depicts us the different characters and especially Konrad Sejer, inspector, widower, who does his best to be a good father, a great grandfather and a dedicated dog owner. Even said dog gets to play a role in this book! This shows the importance given to the characters, relationships between them and their own demons.
The heavy atmosphere, the suspicion and the procedure required to make the investigation give us an addictive atmosphere. Like in English novels which atmosphere is so recognizable
and sometimes bombastic, this novel makes us understand the relationships and the way small towns (or villages actually) interact. The isolation, the fact that everyone knows everyone, that it's so difficult to keep to yourselves your little secrets and the very present nature (the forest, the bottomless lake... ), give a very unique atmosphere.
About the pace of the book, despite the lack of action, Karin Fossum managed the feat of making the discovery of the corpse very stressful. Subsequently, the suspects will succeed based upon discoveries, unsaid things and spilling of secrets. I appreciated the smartness of the dialogues, interviews that never seem to be ones, trick questions formulated with precision. Here, nothing is fast, there is no action in each chapter but Konrad who worms truths out of suspects.
In a nutshell
A very good book that I highly recommend especially if you love unique atmosphere, well-constructed dialogues and reason over action. I give it a 4/5.
My thought on closing the book: that was well lead