This is Karin Fossum’s eighth book in the Inspector Sejer series. He Who Loves Something Else is exciting, compelling and very topical.
A middle-aged couple are out on their usual Sunday walk in the woods. The husband, Reinhardt, is a large, strong, and talkative man. His wife, Kristine, is petite, almost girl-like, quiet and reflective. Their Sunday idyll is suddenly shattered: something thin and white is lying at the foot of a tree. It’s a small boy, wearing a T-shirt with the word «Kiss» printed on it. He is naked from the waist down. He is dead. The couple call the police, but before they arrive, Kristine sees, to her horror, that Reinhardt is kneeling by the small body and taking pictures with the camera in his mobile phone.
Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant Jacob Skarre arrive at the scene of the crime and find out that the little boy is eight-year-old Jonas August Løwe. Reinhardt and Kristine had seen a man on the track in the woods. Their descriptions of the man varied slightly, but Kristine said that he looked like H.C. Andersen, the famous Danish writer.
The author then introduces us to a lonely man on disability allowance lying in an old run-down house sniffing a pair of boys’ red shorts. So now we have close contact with the killer; we learn a lot about his background, his motives, about how long he has fought against molesting children. Sejer and Skarre contact all the known paedophiles in the area, they interview the children at the school, the parents and teachers, but they don’t get anywhere. Things get worse when another boy disappears.
"He who loves something else is one of the most grim crime novels ever written by a Norwegian author."
"Karin Fossum has done it again. Written the kind of crime that first and foremost is carried by great psychological insight and human understanding."
"This will be standing as an exceptional portrayal of a crime."
"Yet another uncomfortable and original crime from Karin Fossum ... In her quiet, but realistic and every day way, she drawes the portraits of predators, kidnappers, victims, the families of victims and the others that in different ways end up in the centre of attention."
"Karin Fossum dares to bring up uncomfortable topics, and she does so with sense and sensibility. Fossum shows us again and again that she is superb when it comes to writing believable reactions in people exposed to great stress. Said in short: She writes well."
"An intensely human and sad novel that needs no outer means to make a great impression, ...She makes us want to read a book that we do not wish for, because the topic is so pitch dark and depressing. She manages to tell the story of all the persons in the story, not least the evildoer, in a believable way."
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