Book - 2016
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Inspector Konrad Sejer is called to investigate the double murder of a mother and her young son. They have been found, knifed repeatedly, in a worn-out caravan on a remote piece of land. A bloody footprint is discovered. Meanwhile, another mother, dying of cancer, confesses to her 21-year-old son that he is adopted. The man who abandoned them, whom the boy has become obsessed by, is not his real father. Delving deep into the vagaries of family and why we lie, Fossum expertly intertwines their stories, forcing us to question what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.
Publisher: London : Harvill Secker, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781846559402
Branch Call Number: FOSSUM
Characteristics: 276 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Dickson, Kari
Alternative Title: Hell fire


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Jul 03, 2017

Karin Fossum is a wonderful writer and I have read many of her books (all that I could find actually), but Hellfire though mesmerizing ends so sadly, it broke my heart.

Nov 09, 2016

Book 12 in the Inspector Sejer series

Nov 01, 2016

This intriguing psychological thriller is in many ways reminiscent of the psychological crime novels of Ruth Rendell. The interior landscapes that Karen Fossum paints, however, are more subtle: Her characters are less overtly creepy and thus even scarier. The Norsks populating Hell Fire are ordinary people whose lives are off track and whose tragic trajectories are unlikely to be righted. And yet we hope.

The author unfolds her parallel tales of mothers and sons deliberately, in a muted and thought-provoking way. No one in this book ever seems to jump up and down for joy, or scream with rage. The fury—the “hell fire?”—is repressed, or happens off the page.

In the end, Fossum allows Inspector Sejer to catch the culprit, but there is no celebration. No closure. No redemption. Only sadness and more sadness.

spl_merley Oct 29, 2016

I spent the summer exploring some new mystery writers and Karin Fossum’s Hellfire made it onto my list and I am so glad that it did. In this most recent installment of the Inspector Sejer mystery series Fossum weaves together the stories of several people including the victims of a brutal murder creating a compelling story that had my attention right to the end.

Fossum helped me to know the characters intimately which made me want to follow the threads of action back to that moment where tragedy happened so that, like Sejer, I could know what motivated the murderer. This book stings with the consequences of past choices and the little deceptions motivated by such noble things as maternal love and pulls it all together with a heart-wrenching conclusion. Although it can stand on its own I would enjoy going back and reading other books in the series.


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spl_merley Oct 29, 2016

Three stories slowly converge as Fossum moves us from Inspector Sejer’s murder investigation and back in time to meet 2 sets of mothers and sons whose relationships and connections are complicated and not without surprises. Fossum begins with the brutal murder of a mother and child in an abandoned camper trailer at the back of a farm sending Sejer and his partner searching for the motivation. The second story introduces a mother whose indulgent relationship with her adult son leaves her worried about how he will cope on his own - if he even can. Lastly is the tale of a mother making countless personal sacrifices to eke out a better life for her pre-school aged son. Although the story begins with the murder investigation the flashbacks help unpack Sejer’s investigation as the reader moves along the trajectory toward the impending crime.

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