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I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum

I Can See in the Dark

by Karin Fossum

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I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum; (5*)

What a brilliant piece of dark and spine tingling narration!

This work is narrated by a twisted mind of the worst sort. Riktar, our protagonist, works as a nurse in a home for the aged. He enjoys hurting those who are bedridden and utterly helpless, who cannot cry out nor scream for help and who have no way of telling anyone what is happening to them.
His 'sickness' is not exclusive to his work. In his isolated world he spends time observing many people who are at a disadvantage in society. Persons with special needs and illness draw no empathy nor regard from him. In fact he regards them with scathing thoughts and he often finds himself thinking of what he would do to them if the opportunity were to present itself.
I found this novel to be chilling to the bone. I thought it brilliantly written by Fossum but I plan to not be reading anything similar for a long, long time. ( )
  rainpebble | Apr 25, 2018 |
Many thriller writers have attempted to take us inside the mind of a psychopath. Few have succeeded with such understated elegance as Karin Fossum does here.

This appalling yet enthralling stand-alone novel convincingly describes the inner landscape of the quiet man, the loner, the secret sadist, the malcontent misanthrope who knows himself to be superior to normal people. He delights in tormenting vulnerable patients who depend upon him for care and medication, while passing sinister judgment on those people he casually encounters in what passes for a life.

Inevitably, his disregard for human dignity ends in brutal, heartless murder… but not in the way you might expect from the opening chapters of the tale.

The writing and translation are atmospheric and disturbing, but easily accessible. The first few chapters are a little uneven and tricky to engage with as we’re introduced to the strange character through his opinions of other people, but rapidly the plot takes over and then the pages fly by. Several scenes are disconcertingly effective, like the moment when the central character dispassionately watches a drowning man in the same way a normal person might observe a dying fly…

(There's more thoughts on character and plot at
https://murdermayhemandmore.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/i-can-see-in-the-dark-subtle-disconcerting-suspense/ )

It’s an accomplished, uncomfortable read. Brilliant, but not the type of thriller for light entertainment.
9/10 ( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
The title refers to the character's heightened ability to see in the dark. He is a loner, lives alone, has no friends, sits on a park beach and watches the world go by. He is a loser, repeatedly remarking to himself that he needs to get a woman but does not know how to go about it. He is a torturer, as the med nurse in an old folks home, flushing their meds, pinching them till they bleed, whispering nastiness to those who cannot respond. He is a criminal, spies an accidental death and does not report it, and plots and commits a murder. He is sent to jail for a murder he did not commit but justice is served in the finale. Ms. Fossum puts the reader into his mind and his thoughts throughout all of these events as he questions his sanity and his evil acts. It is a quick read, only 200 pages, but well worth the time. ( )
  musichick52 | Nov 14, 2015 |
Riktor works in a nursing home and does terrible things to the patients that are helpless in his care , then he bashes to death Arnfinn an alcoholic whom he meets in the park everyday then detective De Reuter gets onto the case and finds out what he has done. Sick descriptions in the book makes the squeemish but interesting to read , a great plot . ( )
  Suzannie1 | Nov 21, 2014 |
I am a sucker for a good thriller/serial killer story. That is when I can find a good thriller/serial killer story. This sadly was not one. In fact, I don't really know what all happened in this book. While it was a fast read, it felt slow. This is probably because I found nothing engaging about Riktor. Yet I kept reading trying to understand his motivation for why he kills. Even that was boring. Like the time he watched a guy drown in a frozen hole in the lake. It was painfully slow to watch and did not really leave me satisfied. After about a third of the way in which was not that hard to get there as this is one of the shorter books I have read at 210 pages. Anyways, I skipped to the last two chapters of the book to see how it all ended. Not a good ending. You may want to skip this book if you are a fan of thriller/serial killers like me and are looking for your next victim...ahem book. ( )
  Cherylk | Aug 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Krimidronning leverer endnu et mesterstykke.

"Norske Karin Fossum har skrevet en både sindig, snedig og sindrig krimiroman. [...] Med ’Jeg kan se i mørke’ har Norges (og nattens) poetiske krimidronning, Karin Fossum, gjort det igen. Skrevet en inciterende dyster og sindig skæbnefortælling med et meget sindrigt tragisk-ironisk plot i bedste/værste style noir i tonearten mol.

Igen sat i et traurigt og klaustrofobisk norsk landskab med bitre, stumme og stille eksistenser med mere ond end god lykke i rygsækken hjemmefra. I et lakonisk, minimalistisk sprog, som zigzagger sig snært og labyrintisk i jegfortællerens lettere psykopatiske og alligevel sært skære hjerne, der dog også indeholder en kunstner, en tegner og en fortæller."
"...[Karin Fossum] har Hverdags-Norge på sitt mest traust og grått gjenkjennelige som scenegulv. Det til tross gløder det av setningene hennes rett som det er [...] [Romanen] er ikke fullt ut vellykket. Det blir noe forsert over Riktors stadige kokketering om hvor fæl han har to i seg til å være, og språklige gjentagelser virker ikke alltid tilsiktet. Allikevel: Karin Fossum holder den dybdepsykologiske fanen høyt hevet [...]"
added by geitebukkeskjegg | editAftenposten, Pål Gerhard Olsen (Aug 10, 2011)
Grøssende god Fossum.

"Karin Fossum skal ha stor ros for stringent språk og imponerende psykologisk innsikt i sin nye, mørke roman. [...] Nei og nei og nei for en god bok Karin Fossum har skrevet! [...] "Jeg kan se i mørket" er en mørk roman, som takket være Fossums fortellertalent i tillegg byr på humor. [...] Fossum minner oss om at også ondskapen er en del av vår verden. Og at også det mest forkvaklede mennesket er et menneske."
"Karin Fossum har i mange av sine romaner interessert seg for dem som faller utenfor, de som begår ekstreme handlinger. I «Jeg kan se i mørket» fortsetter hun i det sporet, men denne gangen har hun valgt seg en hovedperson hvis destruktivitet vanskelig kan forklares ad konvensjonelle veier alene. [...] historien i «Jeg kan se i mørket» taper seg noe mot slutten, blant annet på grunn av noen litt for konstruerte tilfeldigheter i form av møter mellom mennesker. [...] Når «Jeg kan se i mørket» likevel har blitt meget god roman, har det aller mest å gjøre med Karin Fossums store språklige sans. Fossums setninger er glassklare og levende, de er rensket for overflødigheter, og i denne romanen bærer de i seg en rytme som oppleves som optimalt avstemt til innholdet"
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First words
There's nothing beautiful about her, and she has no control.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please note: This work should not be combined with In the Darkness, which is an English translation of Evas øye.
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Book description
A brilliant stand-alone crime novel from Norway's original queen of crime.
Riktor doesn't like the way the policeman comes straight into the house without knocking. He doesn't like the arrogant way he observes his home.The policeman doesn't tell him why he's there, and Riktor doesn't ask. Because he knows he's guilty.

But it turns out that the policeman isn't looking for a missing person. He is accusing Riktor of something totally unexpected. Riktor doesn't have a clear conscience, but this is a crime he certainly didn't commit.
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"Riktor doesn't like the way the policeman storms into his home without even knocking. He doesn't like the arrogant way he walks around the house, taking note of its contents. The policeman doesn't bother to explain why he's there, and Riktor is too afraid to ask. He knows he's guilty of a terrible crime and he's sure the policeman has found him out. But when the policeman finally does confront him, Riktor freezes. The man is arresting him for something totally unexpected. Riktor doesn't have a clear conscience, but the crime he's being accused of is one he certainly didn't commit. Can he clear his name without further incriminating himself?" -- "What if you were arrested for a crime you didn't commit--but had to prove your innocence without revealing anything about the crime that you did?" --… (more)

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