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The Caller by Karin Fossum

The Caller (2009)

by Karin Fossum

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Sejer Mysteries (9)

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4162637,524 (3.72)54



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English (17)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
One fine summer afternoon, a mother leaves her baby outdoors, asleep in her pram, and when she goes to check on her, finds the baby covered in blood. It turns out the baby is fine, and it’s not even her blood, and someone has played a cruel joke on the family which takes a severe emotional toll. Inspector Sejer begins his investigation, and soon realizes someone is orchestrating a string of pranks. Meanwhile, we meet Johnny Beskow, a young man living with his alcoholic mother. There is no doubt Johnny is the prankster, but the reader knows this well before Sejer figures it out.

Karin Fossum has taken the Inspector Sejer series from traditional “whodunnit” murder mysteries to psychological thrillers where the criminal is identified early, and suspense is created through the orchestration of their downfall. In The Caller, Johnny’s pranks become more elaborate and he takes more chances. But eventually his actions have horrific consequences (possibly one of the most grueling scenes I’ve read this year), and things begin to unravel. Justice is served, as it always is, but even this happens in an unusual way. Good stuff. ( )
  lauralkeet | Oct 29, 2017 |
This entry into the Inspector Sejer series is unusual in that we see very little of Sejer and his fellow police detectives. Instead, the narrative focuses on the victims and the perpetrator, and tracks the effects of even what seem to be harmless pranks on those who are their targets. It's not unusual for a book to be written from the perspective of the villain, but it doesn't serve as a police procedural. Rather, it enlists the reader in sympathy for each of the characters, with one possible exception. ( )
  ffortsa | Dec 18, 2016 |
Well, this is my last Inspector Sejer mystery and as compelling and as psychologically astute as all the others. In this novel, the reader knows who is playing horrifying "pranks" (covering a baby in ox blood, calling for a hearse for a wheelchair-bound man, placing an obituary for a very much alive 70-year-old woman, etc.) early in the novel. He is an angry, intelligent, devious 17-year-old whose mother is routinely drunk and whose grandfather is the only person he cares for. Damaged goods. Sejer and Skarre suspect these "pranks" are all committed by the same person, but will they find him? They have clues, but not enough until certain terrible things happen, things not for the faint-hearted or people who don't like children being killed as a boy is torn apart by dogs that have been let out of their kennel. Ultimately, the teenager is found when his grandfather dies horrifically, indirectly as a result of something the teenager planned for his hated mother. This does not end well; in fact the very end is ambiguous.
  rebeccanyc | Mar 20, 2016 |
A young man, whose home life leaves much to be desired, takes his aggression out on random people with cruel "pranks" that end up having serious repercussions. I really liked how we got to follow all the victims and the perpetrator and get their backstories - it made for a multi-dimensional read that kept the stakes high. Sejer's story and his physical health (or rather its deterioration) also works to raise the stakes. Very interesting installment in a high-quality series I would recommend to any and all mystery-readers. ( )
  -Eva- | May 31, 2015 |
The New York Times called this one of the most disturbing mystery/crime fiction books of 2013. Aside from the final "prank, " I found this book pretty mild by comparison to most of what I've read in this genre. ( )
  juli1357 | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Ruth Rendell reads Karin Fossum. It makes sense. Both are mistresses of psychological suspense with talents for excellent police series. But while Rendell takes us into the darkest minds, Fossum peppers her plots with violence in the everyday. This tightly constructed story begins with a sleeping baby in her back yard in Oslo. Mummy is making dinner. Daddy is at work. Everything is perfect, until the parents discover their baby drenched in blood.

Fortunately, it’s not her blood. It’s a prank, stupid and horrible and life-changing. Inspector Konrad Sejer is on the case, with much press coverage, when he receives a note: “Hell begins now.”

More evil pranks follow, with equally horrible results. A woman reads her obituary in the paper; a cancer patient has a visit from the undertaker. The pranks are perpetrated by a miserably unhappy teenaged boy who lives with his alcoholic mother and survives on visits to his adored grandfather. I won’t give away any more of a clever plot but bad things happen. Fossum is among the best new voices in the genre.
added by VivienneR | editThe Globe & Mail, Canada, Margaret Cannon (Oct 12, 2011)
Un bebé aparece cubierto de sangre, pero sin ningún rasguño. Una anciana que acaba de celebrar su cumpleaños descubre su propia esquela en el periódico. Un matrimonio recibe atónito la visita de un trabajador de la funeraria que viene a recoger el cadáver del marido, todavía vivo. El inspector de policía Konrad Sejer encuentra una extraña nota: «¡El infierno empieza ahora!». La calma de una pequeña población se ve interrumpida: alguien se está dedicando a sembrar el terror con mensajes que presagian la muerte de quienes lo reciben. Un libro en el que lo importante no es saber quién lo hizo, sino los motivos que le impulsaron a hacerlo.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karin Fossumprimary authorall editionscalculated
Semmel, K. E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's a good thing there are lies
Lord help us
if everything that was said
were true

--Old adage
First words
The child slept in a pram behind the house.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Inspector Sejer investigates the delivery of a threatening postcard that coincides with the discovery of a child who was found covered in blood but unharmed in her stroller.

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