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Andreas's disappearance is a mystery to all, including his inseparable friend Zipp. But as much as the police question him, its not easy for Zipp to come forward with details of the last time he saw his friend: following an old woman into her home, brandishing his knife. Zipp waited anxiously outside but Andreas failed to reappear.
Inspector Sejer and his colleague Skarre are baffled but while the confusion in the outside world continues, a chilling and heart-stopping drama is unfolding inside the old woman's home. In a plot in the tradition of Stephen King, Fossum deploys her trademark skill of looking realistically, terrifyingly, into the minds of criminal and victim. Appearances aren't always to be believed, and people are not always what they seem.
Gunder Jomann, a quiet, middle-aged man from a peaceful Norwegian community, thinks his life has been made complete when he returns from a trip to India a married man. But on the day his Indian bride is due to join him, he is called to the hospital to his sister's bedside. The local taxi driver sent instead to meet the bride at the airport returns without her. Then the town is shocked by the news of an Indian woman found bludgeoned to death in a nearby meadow.
Inspector Sejer and his colleague Skarre head the murder inquiry, cross-examining the townsfolk and planting seeds of suspicion in a community which has always believed itself to be simple, safe and trusting. For what can only have been an unpremeditated and motiveless act of violence, everyone is guilty until proven innocent.
A twelve-year-old boy runs into his local police station claiming to have seen a brutally dismembered corpse. Errki Johrma, an escaped psychiatric patient and known town misfit, was spotted at the scene before he disappeared into the woods. The next morning the local bank is robbed at gunpoint. Making his escape, the robber takes a hostage and also flees into the woods.
As the search for Halldis Horn's killer continues all fingers of suspicion point to Errki - except one. Errki's doctor refuses to believe that he could have committed such an horrific act and, for the first time since his wife's death, Inspector Sejer finds himself intrigued by another woman.
The second novel in the Inspector Sejer series displays all of Karin Fossum's acclaimed plotting and characterisation.
One summer evening Lily and her husband are enjoying a meal while their baby daughter sleeps peacefully in her pram in the garden. But then Lily steps outside to find her baby soaked in blood.
The distraught parents rush to the hospital where they discover that she is unharmed - the blood isn't hers. Inspector Sejer is called in and 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. Inside it, Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: Hell begins now...
A couple out walking in the woods discover the dead body of a half-naked boy.
To Kristine's horror her husband begins to take photographs of the corpse on his mobile phone, but this proves only the beginning of his obsession with the case.
Inspector Sejer is called to the scene but he can find no immediate cause of death. And who was the agitated man the couple saw moments before their discovery? Then, a second boy goes missing, and the once peaceful community is left deeply shaken.
Is there a killer within their midst?