Karin Fossum is a unique crime fiction writer and a personal favorite Scandinavian author. She Is known for her exceptional character outlines and her simple, nevertheless effective, prose which create a sui generis atmosphere in all of her novels. The Whisperer is the latest installment in Fossum's Konrad Sejer series and, in my opinion, is one of the best as it combines the trademark characteristics of the author and a suspenseful plotline, making it impossible to stop reading until you can see the whole picture and the plot is totally resolved.
The protagonist, Ragna Riegel, is a timid, mousy, middle-aged woman who lives in the small town of Kirkelina in Norway and works in a local supermarket. Due to an unfortunate medical error during surgery, her vocal cords are permanently damaged, so she can only whisper. The story is narrated in the present, where Ragna is interrogated by Inspector Sejer for a crime that the reader ignores and the past where the long series of events that led to Ragna's arrest are recounted. Fossum is an experienced author who knows how to keep the suspense alive throughout the book, based solely in dialogue and description and without any action parts.
The Whisperer is, above all, a remarkable psychogram of the protagonist, Ragna, an ordinary woman who ends up committing a terrible crime and her emotional journey that is set off by a series of threatening letters that she begins to receive in her mailbox. Furthermore, the reader who is not familiar with the character of Konrad Sejer will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the solemn, thoughtful, grey-eyed Inspector and his relationship with his late wife, Elise. One shouldn't expect a typical Nordic Noir crime/thriller, fast-paced and packed with action sequences. This is a novel for those who like to devour a novel in a slow rhythm and absorb its prose and imagery. The interrogation parts offer an example of great dialogue and in many cases, I had to stop reading in order to keep notes. Overall, The Whisperer was a novel worth waiting and is one of the writer's finest works to date.
I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free ARC of this book.
Konrad Sejer #13