Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Whisperer by Karin Fossum Review

Title: The Whisperer 
Author: Karin Fossum, translated by Kari Dickson 
Age Group: Adult 
Genre: Mystery/Thriller 
Series: Konrad Sejer, book 13 
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I received this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway; thank you so much to the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Goodreads! 

So, I have a confession to make: My house is overrun with books! Between library loans, my own purchases, and books I’ve received for free in the mail, I’ve been trying to reduce the number! I’ve been trying to swap my advanced readers’ copies to try and staunch the flow somewhat. This book is part of a package that I’ll be sending out later in the week, and holy smokes! I’m really sorry that I slept on this book for so long! Karin Fossum is hailed as Norway’s Queen of Crime, and after reading The Whisperer, it’s easy to see why! This book was a mystery unlike any I’ve ever experienced; I just finished it only two days ago, and I still can’t stop thinking about it! This book is technically the thirteenth in a lengthy series; and I’ll admit that I didn’t realize that when I won it. Regardless, this book could be read as a standalone easily. Konrad Sejer, ace detective returns, this time in response to an awful, unspeakable crime.  

Ragna Reigel is, foremost, a survivor. After enduring an awful tragedy that has quite literally stolen her voice. As a result, she is near mute. How she ends up at the police station opposite Detective Sejer is a mystery that Ragna herself cannot seem to fully process. She lives alone, and when she begins to receive threatening messages, she begins to fear for her own sanity. What follows is a web of secrets, lies, and intrigue that may lead to justice, or to damnation... 

I really enjoyed this book, a lot more than I expected, actually! I wasn’t sure what to expect, honestly. I love mysteries and thrillers, but all too often, I can see the ending coming a mile away. This was such an unexpected pleasure, not the least of which because this was a translation from Norway! That was so cool! I love to read, and one of my favorite parts of it is finding new authors from countries other than the US. This was a mystery, but it was so strange; at times, it felt like a fever dream. Fossum, at times, blurred the line between memory, time and reality so well I had to go back and reread to actually understand what was happening. I also adored the way that Fossum robbed Ragna of her voice, forcing her and the other characters to adapt frequently in order to communicate well. The sense of suspense and dread was at times so terrible I had to put the book down and collect myself. I loved this book, and I ate it up, all the way down to the last word. I’m really looking forward to passing this on! The bottom line: Tersely written and fraught with emotion and humanity, I loved The Whisperer! Next on deck: The New Husband by DJ Palmer! 

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