Don’t Look Back – Karin Fossum

Fossum, K. Don’t Look Back. Original Title: Se Deg ikke Tilbake! (2002) Translated by Felicity David (2002). Vintage (2003). 428 p. ISBN: 0-09-945213-8.

This book is my second European contribution to Dorte’s Global Reading Challenge, Norway.

Don’t Look Back is actually the second instalment in Karin Fossum’s series featuring inspector Konrad Sejer. It was the first to be translated to English. The tranquillity of an idyllic village at the foot of Norway’s Kollen Mountain is shaken by the discovery of the body of a naked teenage girl in the shore of a nearby lake. With no clues or motives that could explain this atrocious murder, inspector Konrad Sejer begins the interrogations of the people in a small community and everybody sordid past begins to unfold.

This is a well written police procedural but the main character inspector Sejer does not seem very appealing to me. However the argument is well planned with lots of turns and twists that keeps my interest alive until the last page.

The film La Ragazza del Lago (The Girl by the Lake, 2007 directed by Andrea Molaioli) is based on Karin Fossum’s novel Don’t look back, released in Italy in 2003 with the title Lo sguardo di uno sconosciuto (Frassinelli).

Karin Fossum (1954) is a Norwegian author of crime fiction. She was initially a poet, with her first collection published in 1974 when she was just 20. Fossum is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer series of crime novels, which have been translated into over 16 languages. She won the Glass key award for her novel Don’t Look Back, which also won the Riverton Prize, and she was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger in 2005 for Calling Out For You.

Inspector Sejer Series (also featuring Jakob Skarre) include:
1995 – Evas øye; English translation: Eve’s Eye; Spanish translation: El ojo de Eva, Grijalbo, 1998.
1996 – Se deg ikke tilbake!; English translation: Don’t Look Back, 2002 . Spanish translation: No mires atrás, Grijalbo, 1999.
1997 – Den som frykter ulven; English translation: He Who Fears the Wolf, 2003; Spanish translation: ¿Quién teme al lobo? Grijalbo, 2002.
1998 – Djevelen holder lyset; English translation: When the Devil Holds the Candle, 2004.
2000 – Elskede Poona; English translation: Calling Out For You, 2005; American translation: The Indian Bride, 2007; Spanish translation: Una mujer en tu camino, Mondadori, 2008.
2002 – Svarte sekunder; English translation: Black Seconds, 2007
2004 – Drapet på Harriet Krohn; English translation: The Murder of Harriet Krohn
2007 – Den som elsker noe annet; English translation: The Water’s Edge, (2009)
2008 – Den onde viljen; English translation: Bad Intentions (2010)
2009 – Varsleren

For further information read also:
Reactions to Reading
Reading Matters
Scandinavian Crime Fiction
Mysteries in Paradise
The Bookbag
Spotlight on World Mysteries

5 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back – Karin Fossum”

  1. >It is interesting that you don´t like Konrad Sejer. I have always thought he was a nice and sensible protagonist.

  2. >I think the author became less interested in Sejer (and his assistant Skarre) as she wrote more books. Her last two- Broken only featured a detective at the end, and it might not have been Sejer. In her latest (to be translated into English), Sejer and Skarre mainly exist to act as a debate about whether or not paedophiles can be reintegrated into society. In earlier books, they had personal dramas and dilemmas, now the author writes mainly about social and psychological issues.I like your review, Jose. I am sorry I cannot usually comment at your blog because I am a typically ignorant English person and do not know Spanish (or any other language, apart from a bit of poor French).

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