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The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum
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The Murder of Harriet Krohn (2005)

by Karin Fossum

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English (10)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I went back in the series to read this one I had skipped, but maybe I shouldn't have. As someone else said, it takes place completely from the point of view of the perpetrator, which could work but didn't quite. The relationships between the perpetrator and family were interesting, but not what I was looking for in a police procedural. ( )
  ffortsa | Oct 15, 2018 |
This was not one of my favorite Fossums for the simple reason that Inspector Sejer only appears at the very end, with none of the usual characters that accompany him (but with a new puppy). Instead, Fossum gets inside the head of an "accidental" killer, who killed in the course of a burglary undertaken to pay off his gambling debts and try to get back in the good graces of his 16-year-old daughter. Told from the perspecive of the killer, this is a very claustrophobic book, because the inside of Charlo's head is not a good place to be. I will keep reading Fossum, but hope for more Sejer in the future.
  rebeccanyc | Dec 6, 2015 |
This is more Ruth Rendell territory: Sad loser's relentless downfall. More of a psychological study as there is not much mystery in this mystery. Unfortunately, the main character is rather vapid and unsympathetic. Comes to life a little when near the very end Inspector Sejer comes on the scene and dismantles Torp piece by piece. Not enough to make this interesting, however. ( )
  crosbyp | Nov 14, 2015 |
Charlo is trying to put his life back together and to win back his daughter's affection, but his "solution" results in the death of the title's Harriet Krohn. This is told from the murderer's point of view and Sejer only appears occasionally and at the end, where his powers of persuasion and interrogation are showcased. I do refer the books where Sejer is at the forefront, but this one is interesting for its make discussions about guilt and responsibility. Not my favorite in the series, but definitely worth a read. ( )
  -Eva- | May 31, 2015 |
If I’d been paying attention I probably wouldn’t have downloaded this particular book even though I’m a huge fan of Karin Fossum’s because stories told from the perspective of the killer are not one of my favourite things. But I started listening to Sean Barrett’s delightful narration (I admit I have a bit of a crush) before realising that this was one of those books and by the time I worked that out I was hooked. In an efficiently told (though somewhat confronting) opening set piece Fossum introduces us to our murder victim and her killer and even provides the motivation for the heinous act. Having taking care of in a few pages the things most crime novels require a whole book to resolve, she moves on to the issue of what consequences, if any, the murderer will incur either legally or…cosmically…for want of a better word. Given its unusual focus the book is probably not for everyone but I thought it a terrific read (listen).

Charlo Torp, the murdering anti-hero of the story, is a well drawn character, giving weight to my claim that characters don’t have to be likeable to engage me. He’s not a foaming-at-the-mouth killer (that would have been dull) but rather an ordinary man who has made a mess of his life and chooses the most unpleasant escape route imaginable. But that’s the point of him…you can imagine a real person (hopefully not yourself or anyone you know) doing exactly what he does out of … desperation … narcissism…a lost grip on reality. I think it would be impossible to like Torp and I couldn’t really feel too sorry for him even though his troubles were not all of his own making but I did find myself captivated by his narrative and his ability to convince himself of his good qualities. At one point he even tries to measure his worthiness by awarding points for each good and bad act of his life…a subjective exercise indeed but a fascinating insight into his character.

My favourite part of the novel though is the final third which introduces Fossum’s series hero, Inspector Sejer. In this novel his role is smaller than usual as the traditional investigation is not described for readers, though we become aware that it has been going on off-set as it were. But when Sejer arrives to interview Torp, first quite cordially and then more insistently, we see a master at work. His interview style is very low key but demonstrates a man who understands what makes people – especially the criminals he has dealt with all his working life – really tick.

At the time I thought the ending of the novel was a little abrupt but I can’t now imagine what else there was to say so perhaps that was just a product of my being wrapped up in the excellent narration. Most of the questions posed by the novel are at least partially answered and if the big cosmic question about justice being served is not entirely dealt with that is probably as it should be. I guess Fossum fans won’t need any encouragement to read the novel, but I can see myself recommending this to people who aren’t die hard genre fans too.
  bsquaredinoz | Jan 2, 2015 |
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Book description
Charlo Torp has problems.

He's grieving for his late wife, he's lost his job, and gambling debts have alienated him from his teenage daughter. Desperate, his solution is to rob an elderly woman of her money and silverware. But Harriet Krohn fights back, and Charlo loses control.

Wracked with guilt, Charlo attempts to rebuild his life. But the police are catching up with him, and Inspector Konrad Sejer has never lost a case yet.

Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterwards?
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"Available for the first time in English, the seventh entry in the beloved Inspector Sejer series from Norway's Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum. On a wet, gray 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. Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterward?"-- "On a wet, gray 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 his hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter Julie'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. Sure that Sejer is inching steadily closer to the truth, Charlo does everything he can think of to keep from getting caught as he desperately tries to reconcile with Julie in this thrilling new addition to an acclaimed series. "--… (more)

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