At the recommendation of my former colleague Peter (Detectives Beyond Borders), I just read Karin Fossum’s “He Who Fears the Wolf.” I recently decided I needed to broaden my reading list to include more female authors and more foreign ones. Fossum, with her stalwart fans and arsenal of glowing reviews, seemed like a good place to start.
I had serious doubts during the first scene: a madman in the middle of a major meltdown (possibly incurred by aggressive alliteration). It was, as one review put it, “a harrowing journey inside a warped mind” — something I get quite enough of just being me.
Fortunately, Fossum’s madman turns out not to be the demonic figure so common in the work of lesser writers. By the book’s end, he is a character as fully formed as Fossum’s series protagonist, Inspector Sejer, and almost as understandable. The story revolves around a bizarre crime and oddball characters, but it’s the sympathy with which she crafts those characters that elevates the book beyond the plain-vanilla police procedural. What cinches it for me is that Fossum also has a subtle sense of humor. Dave-Bob says two thumbs up. It’s good to have found another author whose books will beckon next time I’m browsing.