One mild summer evening Lily and her husband are enjoying a meal while their baby daughter sleeps peacefully in her pram beneath a maple tree. But when Lily steps outside she is paralysed with terror. The child is bathed in blood.
Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully the baby is unharmed, but her parents are deeply shaken. Sejer spends the evening trying to comprehend why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank.
Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell. The corridor is empty, but the caller has left a small grey envelope on the mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure slip across the car park and disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message. Hell begins now.
The book is set in a quaint peaceful town where people are in general happy in their own lives. But the peace of the town is soon broken by a series of really nasty pranks. It all started when Lily found her baby drenched in blood. Thinking that your perfectly healthy child is suddenly bleeding to death and then realize that it was someone’s idea of a prank is like going to hell and back. But for Inspector Sejer ‘hell’ is just the beginning or at least that’s what the perpetrator feels.
Okay seriously, what do these Scandinavian Authors eat and breathe? They certainly have the creepiest imagination ever! Just in case you are wondering I do mean it as a compliment. First, Stieg Larsson, then Jo Nesbo and now Karin Fossum – they all have something in common. There is certain darkness about at least one of their characters that will leave you thinking for days after you’ve finished reading the book. Absolutely, freakishly awesome.
As a book in the mystery genre, there wasn’t much to guess. The author provided us more than a glimpse into the perpetrator’s mind – we are offered a chance to actually see how he sees things and how he thinks. As the novel progresses, we also see that Inspector Sejer works out how he thinks too. So you would think that there’s not much in the book to take you by surprise. Oh well! Think again! There’s an ultimate twist in the tale that you should but will not see coming – be warned.
Overall, I liked the author’s simple writing style that was easy to get into. But mostly, I liked the sociological aspect that she has put into this novel. Growing up, our parents, the people around us and the society in general influence our personality and character whether we like it or not. Really an interesting read that I definitely recommend.