Summary and book reviews of Don't Look Back: An Inspector Sejer Mystery by Karin Fossum

Don't Look Back: An Inspector Sejer Mystery

By Karin Fossum

Don't Look Back: An Inspector Sejer Mystery
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2004,
    304 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2005,
    312 pages.

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Book Summary

Meet Inspector Sejer: smart and enigmatic, tough but fair. At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, 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 façade.

Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable. They evoke a world that is at once profoundly disturbing and terrifyingly familiar.

Chapter 1

Ragnhild opened the door cautiously and peered out. Up on the road everything was quiet, and a breeze that had been playing among the buildings during the night had finally died down. She turned and pulled the doll's carriage over the threshold.

"We haven't even eaten yet," Marthe complained.

She helped push the carriage.

"I have to go home. We're going out shopping," Ragnhild said.

"Shall I come over later?"

"You can if you like. After we've done the shopping."

She was on the gravel now and began to push the carriage toward the front gate. It was heavy going, so she turned it around and pulled it instead.

"See you later, Ragnhild."

The door closed behind her—a sharp slam of wood and metal. Ragnhild struggled with the gate, but she mustn't be careless. Marthe's dog might get out. He was watching her intently from beneath the garden table. When she was sure that the gate was properly closed, she started ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Karin Fossum is well known in her native country of Norway and much of Europe where her books are bestsellers and she is known as 'Norway's Queen of Crime', but this is her first book to be published in the USA. The setting would seem to be just right for a 'cozy' detective mystery - a picturesque valley town - but this is not a cozy tale and as the nasty surprises build up it becomes apparent that all is not as it would seem to be in this insular, homogenous small town.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

In Fossum's moody and subtle U.S. debut, the fifth in her Inspector Sejer series, the popular Norwegian mystery writer displays her mastery of psychological suspense.

Library Journal

Fans of such Scandinavian crime writers as Henning Mankell, Helene Turnsten, and Per Wahlee and Maj Sjewal will snap this up. Strongly recommended for most collections.

Kirkus Reviews

Murder strikes a placid Norwegian village in this deceptively understated novel.....Top-drawer evidence that a practiced hand can still ring memorably creepy changes on the classic whodunit.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Insularity, or the loss of it, is at the heart of the Scandinavian crime novel.....A disturbing ending, fraught with ambiguity, leaves the reader as unsettled as the shell-shocked villagers. Add another memorable series to the growing list of superb European procedurals.

The New York Times - Marilyn Stasio

Don't Look Back, the first of Karin Fossum's police procedurals to be published in the United States, is set in a picturesque Norwegian village at the foot of a mountain, in a valley at the edge of the sea. But there's no mistaking this psychologically astute, subtly horrifying crime study for a cozy village mystery, or its soulful detective for one of those brainy European sleuths who make a parlor game of homicide.

The Washington Post - Maureen Corrigan

Fossum's novels starring Inspector Konrad Sejer have been critically acclaimed throughout Europe, and it's easy to see why. Sejer is one of those deadpan police philosopher types the Northern climes generate.

Reader Reviews
Kathy

Could NOT put it down!
I started this book with some hesitation; translations always give me pause. But no matter here, it was a wonderful book...so many threads woven through the story of one girl's murder. I loved Konrad Sejer and the way the author delved into his ...   Read More

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