Karin Fossum

The Murder of Harriet Krohn

"..a complete change from the normal whodunit mystery with the story being told from the perspective of the killer... "


How far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterwards?

On a wet, grey night in early November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler who's only recently kicked the habit, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn's apartment, flowers in hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter's forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman's antique silver collection. What he doesn't expect is for her to put up a fight.

The following morning Harriet is found dead, her antique silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer and his team find in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet, Charlo should feel relieved, but he's heard of Sejer's amazing record – the detective has solved every case he's ever been assigned to.

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'The Murder of Harriet Krohn' is the tenth Inspector Sejer novel to be translated into English, but chronologically is the 'missing' seventh novel from Fossum's series. It's a complete change from the normal whodunit mystery with the story being told from the perspective of the killer rather than the detective. For me this made a fabulous change. Discovering the motives and drivers of the killer to do what he did, and follow his decent, first of all into the desperation that fuelled his murderous act, and then his subsequent thoughts and actions as he tries to come to terms with what he has done, make for a fascinating read. Aside from the main theme of the murder, the broken relationship between Charlo and his daughter Julie, both the reasons behind it and his efforts to repair it make 'The Murder of Harriet Krohn' an addictive yet melancholy read, and despite knowing what Charlo has done throughout, and even disliking him as a person, you cannot help but feel for him and his situation. The alternative perspective of this book means you don't need to have read any of the previous Inspector Sejer novels in order to be able to enjoy this one, and while some more traditional fans may not like it's direction, I personally think that by highlighting Fossum's understanding of the depths that desperation can make a person sink to will win her a lot of new fans.

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