Karin Fossum

Black Seconds

"… sensitively written"


Ida Jones, looking forward to her tenth birthday, goes out to buy sweets but doesn't return home Her frantic relatives search for her with other neighbourhood volunteers while her mother, Helga, sits at home desperate to know whether or not she is alive.

Inspector Sejer of the Norwegian Police knows that most missing children turn up alive within 48 hours. When Ida fails to materialise after this time, he is forced to look for a killer, who, statistics tell him, is probably based in the local area, and, most likely, is known to the family.

Purchase the book from Amazon.


This is a short, very moving novel about the hunt for a missing girl. The action is kept close to the environment in which the girl lives, adding an intimacy to the story. Essenatially this is a local tragedy, with local people trying to help one another, with growing suspicion of each other being very well portrayed. Many of the characters in the book are ambivalent, being neither very good nor very bad, which allows the reader to appreciate the complexities of the situation. Although the book will not suit all readers, it is very sensitively written.

Reviewed By: