Ragna Riegel works at Europris and lives alone in her childhood home. Her parents have died and her only son has moved to Berlin, and they have no contact other than occasional Christmas and birthday cards.
Ragna lives within close confines. She likes her job because it is full of routine, she likes to sit on the same seat on the bus every day and she likes to buy the same things at the local shop each day. She must have order in her life. And she does, until one day she finds a letter in her mailbox with her name on the envelope and a clear threat written in block capitals on the sheet inside.
The letter reinforces a nightmare where Ragna Riegel's life is threatened by an unknown enemy and she realises that she must use all means possible to defend herself.
The novel takes the form of Konrad Sejer's interrogation of Ragna Riegel after the worst has happened; after it is too late.
A powerful narrative from one of the strongest voices in Norwegian crime literature.
'In this latest novel, as in a great number of her previous works, she exercises a psychological sensitivity for and empathy with her characters, which breaks the boundaries of traditional crime writing and makes this an example of superior fiction … With the intense build-up of suspense and a completely astounding and unexpected final crescendo, Hviskeren, for me, is a masterpiece.'
'The intimate depiction of an individual’s innermost thoughts and feelings form the focus of this project, which is so eminently executed that the reader is left speechless at the author’s insight and understanding, as well as the way in which she conveys these.'
'She has written a tremendously good story about someone who could easily be our neighbour … Hviskeren is not a melancholy example of social realism; it has its doses of humour, and a sense of intrigue suitably mysterious and full of twists that as soon as we think that we know the score, very suddenly we no longer have any idea what to think.'
'The Wisperer is a novel that measures up to any literature, crime or otherwise.'
'The Wisperer contains all of the elements that make Fossum one of Norway’s foremost crime authors: Deep psychological insight and detailed personal portrayals. Language that is dynamic and to-the-point. Creepy, unnerving discomfort and plausible madness in everyday life … The unthinkable lingers and quivers within the text, creating suspense as the story builds towards the shocking reveal.'
'It is her ability to make average, often wounded human psyches crackle and glow in all the colours of the rainbow that is Fossum’s forte as a writer. She has an exceptional eye for fragility and vulnerability, and the complexity and dark humour of these states of mind.'
'The Wisperer has qualities that distinguish the author at her best: Finely-honed psychological insight in combination with chilling discomfort ... in this respect, Ragna Riegel of Hviskeren is a typical Karin Fossum character. Described and delivered with precision and linguistic consideration, this is a portrayal of a woman that is not easily forgotten.'
'Let’s just say right away: Karin Fossum is simply an amazing author, a writer who steps where others fear to tread, a poet who plunges deep where others skim the surface, a storyteller who is much more concerned about the characters she is creating than about the criminal maze they are mixed up in.'
'The way Fossum builds up towards the gruesome denouement sends shivers down your spine.'
'This year’s novel from Karin Fossum is psychological crime on a high level. […] Hviskeren is obviously one of Fossum’s greatest novels.'