Don’t Look Back
Coming from the more gentile, Morse, end of the detective spectrum, Karin Fossum has been Norway’s Queen of Crime since the mid-90s, with her internationally renowned Inspector Sejer Series. Don’t Look Back is the first to be translated into English, and the first one I have ever read. And it is lovely. For a book about the murder of children.
Set in a sleepy mountain village an hour outside Oslo, the troubled undercurrents of the close knit community bubble to the surface when a teenage girl’s body is found by the lake. Everyone knew and loved Annie Holland, she babysat their children and was the star of the local sports teams. No one had a reason to kill her. It is up to non-nonsense, slightly old fashioned Detective Sejer to discover the truth behind the seemingly innocent neighborhood’s veneer.
Sejer is wonderful. Reminding me a little bit of a slightly less angsty Wallander, his slow-but-steady approach delves deep into the cracks exposed by his investigation. He also has massive faith in people, which I would love to see destroyed in further books in the series, which I will definitely be reading. He loves his dog, and his adopted grandson. A widower he constantly refers to his wife Elise, and there is a lovely moment with his wedding ring that made me suppress a small tear. This is a detective you want to get to know, as opposed to Hole, who you want to go to bed with.
Sejer’s Lewis is Detective Jacob Skarre, a young blood taken under wing by an old hand. He smokes too much and doesn’t have quite the same knack with people, but as a double act they work perfectly.
Very very different to Jo Nesbo, if you’re a Wallander or a Morse fan, get into Fossum. I’ll be on the hunt for more of her’s in the future and am really happy to discover her through this challenge.
Happy Reading Paaskekrim!