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Hedy Reviews “Eva’s Eye”

By Library Staff

This is the first in the Inspector Sejer (pronounced SAY-ear) series and the first mystery to be discussed as part of the Library’s Global Gathering Norway project (next month we’ll discuss “The Bat” by Jo Nesbo).  Having read some pretty grim and graphic Scandinavian mysteries previously, I was pleasantly surprised to find this one much more concerned with solving the puzzle of a crime rather than describing dark goings-on  in intricate, disturbingly gory detail.  Inspector Sejer is not depressed or dysfunctional, but well-liked, a widower who loved his wife.  He’s well-mannered, a bit shy, and, most importantly, has such compassion that he  feels the pain inflicted on victim, perpetrator, and investigator alike.  His main weapon is not a gun, but a belief in justice and a need to understand the criminal mind.

Even minor characters were multi-dimensional.  The suspense was thought-provoking.  The atmosphere was palpable.  There was a major incident involving an outhouse.  We were told jokingly at the mystery book discussion that all Norwegian stories feature an outhouse.  The plot twists (and there were several) were original.  Fossum said in an interview that the most frightening thing to her is “when the good guy does something evil”.  She explores why that happens.  And whether that could happen to each and every one of us given particular circumstances.

The Inspector Sejer Series:

1. Eva’s Eye

2. Don’t Look Back

3.  He Who Fears the Wolf

4. When the Devil Holds the Candle

5. The Indian Bride

6. Black Seconds

7. The Murder of Harriet Krohn

8. The Water’s Edge

9. Bad Intentions

10. The Caller

11. The Drowned Boy

12. Helvetesilden (Hell Fire–English translation in 2016)

MYS FOSS  “Eva’s Eye” by Karin Fossum, 1995, English translation 2012, 292 pages