The Water’s Edge, by Karin Fossum

by Peter

The Water’s Edge (Den som elsker noe annet, 2007) is Karin Fossum’s eight book in the Inspector Sejer series and the sixth to be translated intoThe Water's Edge, by Karin Fossum English. The translation by Charlotte Barslund is very good – impressive, actually.

A middle aged couple – Reinhardt and Kristine Ris – on their usual Sunday walk in the woods find the body of a small boy lying at the foot of a tree. He has a T-shirt on, but is naked from the waist down. He has been murdered.

Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant Jacob Skarre arrive at the scene of the crime and find out that the little boy is eight-year-old Jonas August Løwe. The couple had seen a man on the track in the woods walking away from the location of the body.Their descriptions of the man varied slightly, but the woman, Kristine, said that he looked like H.C. Andersen, the famous Danish writer. It also turns out the boy has been sexually abused.

Unexpectedly, the finding of the body triggers changes in the the Ris’ relationship. Kristine starts to long for a child. Reinhardt seems to excited and somewhat obsessed with the murder. The relationship seems to be falling apart.

Sejer and Skarre contact all the known pedophiles in the area, they interview the children at the school, the parents and teachers, but they
don’t get anywhere. Things get even worse when another boy – Edwin – disappears.

The Water’s Edge is a great book from Karin Fossum. The only thing I did not like about it was that Fossum was a little too eager to impart on her readers all her knowledge about the subject of pedophilia. On the other hand, she does not condemn but writes instead in a somewhat distanced and detached style which I found very appropriate. Also, Karin Fossum manages to show us how the terrible incidents are viewed both from the point of view of the perpetrator and by detectives Konrad Sejer and Jacob Skarre.

The Water’s Edge is a well written, sober book dealing with a very difficult subject in a sensitive and enlightening fashion. It is a great read and highly recommended!

Read more about Karin Fossum and her books at!

Karin Fossum, Norway’s bestselling “queen of crime”, brings literary elegance and moral ambiguity to the detective novel.
The Independent

As usual, I am very impressed by Karin Fossum’s talent and originality.

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