Pulling a handbag from a pushchair handle, two teenage trouble-makers, Zipp and Andreas, unwittingly commit murder when the baby inside is thrown to the ground. Unaware of what has happened, the pair move on to their next target. Having followed home Irma, an elderly lady who lives nearby, Andreas enters her house armed, with his trusty flick-knife. Zipp waits nervously outside, but his friend never reappears. He will never see him alive again. Fossum toys with the roles of victim and killer and pens the inner monologue of her characters to chilling effect. There are no red herrings in this narrative as the crime is played out on the page, but it is the mental processes behind the murderer's sinister act that are the real pieces of this puzzle. Gradually, they fall into place as Irma and Andreas talk to each other. We are forced to question the familiar stereotypes: people are not always what they seem and it is not always bad people who do bad things. While the reader knows the truth of this crime, the police remain flummoxed. There is no reason for Sejer and his colleague Skarre to see a connection between the infant's death and the reported disappearance of a town trouble-maker. With Zipp too frightened to come forward, the police must wait for the evidence to present itself before they can begin to comprehend the unsettling nature of the case on their hands.
A psychological thriller with Karin Fossum's trademark skill of looking realistically, terrifyingly, into the criminal mind. As always, the line between victim and killer is fine and easily crossed.
Praise for "Don't Look Back":
"Fossum's presentation of her characters is marked by an intelligence and compassion that is not often found in the pages of crime fiction."
KARIN FOSSUM made her literary debut in Norway in 1974. The author of poetry, short stories and one non-crime novel, it is with her Inspector Sejer Mysteries that Fossum has found greatest acclaim. Winner of the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel, Don't Look Back was the first to be translated into English, followed by He Who Fears the Wolf (both Harvill). The Sejer Mysteries are currently published in sixteen languages.