Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Bad Intentions - Karin Fossum


Bad Intentions (2010) is the eighth in Fossum's Inspector Sejer series.  I had previously read the seventh, The Water's Edge (2009) and the standalone novel Broken (2008), both of which I rated highly.  Indeed, Fossum was my personal discovery of the year 2010.  Why is she not featured on this blog as often as other purveyors of Nordic noir?  Because she is seriously badly published in the UK by vintage.  The covers are uninspiring (I mean, just look at it) and they seem to do almost zero marketing.  You never find them in major national bookstores and happening on one in your local library, as I have done for all three aforementioned, is pure fluke.

Fossum, who is Norwegian, writes psychological crime in the manner of Ruth Rendell.  She eschews serial killers and conspiracy.  In this novel we are not sure if there has been a crime at all.  If there has been, we know for sure whodunit, but not exactly what has been done or why.  There is no gore, no startling twists, and yet Fossum holds our attention from the first sentence to the last.  She is a major writer and deserves to be better known.  I mean, the least Vintage could do is give her an English-language website.

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