Review: The Caller by Karin Fossum


Esta entrada es bilingüe, Para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo.

Translated from the Norwegian by K.E. Semmel. Original title: Varsleren, 2009. Kindle Edition. 417 KB. 304 pages. Vintage Digital (7 July 2011). ASIN: B0056GJHKC.

The Caller is the tenth book in the Inspector Sejer Mystery Series, also featuring inspector Jacob Skarre.

The publisher’s blurb reads: ‘One mild summer evening Lily and her husband are enjoying a meal while their baby daughter sleeps peacefully in her pram beneath a maple tree. But when Lily steps outside she is paralysed with terror. The child is bathed in blood. Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully, the baby is unharmed, but her parents are deeply shaken, and Sejer spends the evening trying to comprehend why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell. The corridor is empty, but the caller has left a small grey envelope on the mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure slip across the car park and disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: “Hell begins now”.’ (Taken from Vintage Books). This is probably the best summary I can offer to reveal as little as possible about its contents.

Karin Fossum has said: “I’m not a good crime writer. I’m not good with plots … so I have to do something else.” (The Independent). And she certainly does so. Through various daily life scenes, the reader becomes a witness to several instances in which a series of events disrupt the peace and tranquillity of different characters to reflect the fragility of their (our) own lives. In a sense Fossum is more interested in finding out an explanation for criminal behaviour, or in the impact that crime has on its victims, rather than in the plot itself. And thus she provides an original and highly intelligent crime fiction book that can be easily read as a standalone. Brilliant.

My rating 5/5.

The Caller has been reviewed by Karen Meek at Euro Crime, Bernadette at Reactions to Reading, Maxine at Petrona, Keishon at Yet Another Crime Fiction Blog, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, Barbara at Scandinavian Crime Fiction, at Scandinavian Books,


Presagios de Karin Fossum

Presagios es el décimo libro en la serie de misterio protagonizada por el Inspector Sejer, conjuntamente con el inspector Jacob Skarre.

La propaganda de la editorial dice: “Una suave noche de verano, Lily y su marido están disfrutando de una cena, mientras su hija duerme plácidamente en su cochecito debajo de un arce en el jardín. Pero cuando Lily sale a echarle un vistazo se queda aterrorizada. La niña está teñida en sangre. El inspector Sejer acude al hospital a ver a la familia. Afortunadamente, la niña está sana y salva, pero sus padres han quedado tremendamente afectados, y Sejer se pasa la noche intentando comprender por qué alguien querría hacer una broma tan siniestra. Entonces, justo antes de la medianoche, alguien llama al timbre de su casa. En el rellano no hay nadie, pero quien quiera que sea el que ha llamado ha dejado un pequeño sobre de color gris sobre el felpudo. Desde la ventana de su casa, el inspector observa cómo una sombra se desliza entre los coches aparcados y desaparece en la oscuridad. Dentro del sobre Sejer encuentra una tarjeta postal con un breve mensaje”: “El infierno empieza ahora”. (Vintage Books). Este es, posiblemente, el mejor resumen que puedo ofrecer a fin de revelar lo menos posible de su contenido.

Karin Fossum ha dicho: “Yo no soy una buena escritora de novelas. No me manejo bien con las tramas ….. así que tengo que hacer otra cosa.” (The Independent). Y ciertamente lo hace. A través de diversas escenas de la vida cotidiana, el lector se convierte en testigo de varios casos en los que una serie de acontecimientos perturban la paz y la tranquilidad de diferentes personajes para reflejar la fragilidad de sus (nuestras) propias vidas. En cierto sentido Fossum está más interesada por encontrar una explicación del comportamiento criminal o en el impacto que tiene el crimen sobre sus víctimas, que en la propia trama. Así nos ofrece una novela negra original y muy inteligente que se puede leer fácilmente como si se tratara de un libro independiente. Genial.

Mi calificación: 5/5.

Plaza & Janés

6 thoughts on “Review: The Caller by Karin Fossum

  1. José Ignacio – Thanks so much for this excellent review. I’m glad you enjoyed this novel; I’m biased of course because I like the Konrad Sejer series very much. One of the things I really like is the way Fossum develops a sense of suspense in that quiet “creep-up-on-you” way. She’s skilled at characters too I think.

  2. That is a very good point, Jose Ignacio – disrupting peace to reflect fragility of lives. Well put! I am very glad you liked this book, & I agree with you that it would work well as a standalone.

  3. I wasn’t blown away but I thought The Caller was good. I plan to read/review He Who Fears the Wolf next.

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