Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Black SecondsBlack Seconds by Karin Fossum
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(This is a review I had originally posted elsewhere, in July 2010, before I read several other books by Ms. Fossum.)

I have been reading mystery novels for over forty years, at a pace of about a hundred books a year. Karin Fossum's "Black Seconds" is her third book I read, and to me it is the best. I began with "When the Devil Holds the Candle" and I liked it. I loved "Don't Look Back", especially the masterful way the author teases the reader at the beginning, by way of a "false start". I found "Black Seconds" among the very best books I have ever read. Yes, it is a mystery, and it sort of keeps you guessing to the end, but that is not important at all. The psychological portraits of the characters are drawn so well that I felt I had known these people for years. The gentle "interrogations" towards the end of the book are reminiscent of Dostoyevski's "Crime and Punishment". There is not much action, but there is so much truth about people instead. Ms. Fossum writes extremely well, and the translator did a splendid job in managing not to spoil the dry, to-the-point style.

A piece of real literature.

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