Inspector Konrad Sejer is called to investigate the double murder of a mother and her young son. They have been found, knifed repeatedly, in a worn-out caravan on a remote piece of land. A bloody footprint is discovered.
Meanwhile, another mother, dying of cancer, confesses to her 21-year-old son that he is adopted. The man who abandoned them, whom the boy has become obsessed by, is not his real father.
Delving deep into the vagaries of family and why we lie, Fossum expertly intertwines their stories, forcing us to question what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.
This is the twelft book about Inspector Sejer.
Hellfire is one of Karin Fossum’s best crime stories. … In her writing, Fossum expertly captures the nuances of everyday life and the way in which living people struggle to make sense of life. She does it with a subdued tone and an unwavering dedication to her characters. … In Helvetesilden, the story approaches a point which is heartbreaking rather than thrilling. This novel shows that Karin Fossum is in a class of her own as a crime writer.
Here she delivers what must be one of her most penetrating and moving novels. An author at the height of her creative ability. … The composition is almost a stroke of genius in itself, as for a long time we are at a complete loss as to how Fossum intends to fuse the parallel storylines. … The way she does it demonstrates both her mastery of her trade and her formidable ability to portray tormented minds without diminishing them through inconsequential platitudes about insanity and other dissociative diagnoses.
The opening scene showcases Fossum at her best – the dank camper van, the heat and the brutal murders. The detailed, subdued tone; the grotesque in the middle of the everyday.
Karin Fossum is the most literary of the Norwegian crime writers ... The novel is skilfully composed, and several of the characters from Hellfire will remain with the reader long after the final page has been turned.
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