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The Caller (Inspector Konrad Sejer #10)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  2,331 ratings  ·  286 reviews
"Pranks can have lethal consequences, even when they seem harmless to start with . . . A poison bonbon that ranks with the best of Ruth Rendell."--Stephen King in "Entertainment Weekly"
One mild summer evening, a young couple are enjoying dinner while their daughter sleeps peacefully in her stroller under a tree. When her mother steps outside she is stunned: the child is c
ebook, 256 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2009)
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Susan Yes, though it is a bit dark, like all of us Norwegians...I've read two or three of her earlier Inspector Sejer books, have liked them all. I am…moreYes, though it is a bit dark, like all of us Norwegians...I've read two or three of her earlier Inspector Sejer books, have liked them all. I am listening to this one on CD from the library. I always like to have one going for the car...Almost finished with it.(less)
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Lukasz Pruski
Norway's Karin Fossum is one of my most favorite authors. She writes about things that interest me, and she writes in a way that is close to perfect for my taste. I do not care much about plot, and do not need fast action. Ms. Fossum writes about Little Things That Are Important In Life, and she writes about them beautifully.

"The Caller" is another lovely, little, quiet book, where seemingly nothing much extraordinary happens for the most part. And yet, people get sick, divorce, and die, becaus
Both Karin Fossum and Barbara Vine have that gift of creating characters who leap off the page and into full realization from the first time they appear. Their ability to build empathy for their most troubled creations which makes their novels especially rich and affecting.

In "The Caller" someone is playing cruel pranks in the neighborhood. These tricks are of the sort that undermine the victims' basic sense of safety and trust in the world, no one is hurt, but their lives will never be the same
Nov 18, 2013 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Shameless Lofinka
How would you feel at his place?

And here we go - another psychological thriller from cold north. I was impressed by the annotation, because I like crime stories with teenagers and doesn't matter if they're offenders or victims. Yes, so little it takes to happiness.

As we already know, the main ''provocateur'' (by the way, that's how they translated the name of this book in my country) is Johnny Beskow, who doesn't have enviable life. He never knew his father and his mother - alcoholic, doesn't ca
Lisa Beaulieu
I don't think it is the book, or I should say, the writing, that merits one star. Karin Fossum is who she is - she writes offbeat quiet books about oddballs with compassion and yadayadayada ... I think I am just done with the oddball genre. Halfway through this book I found myself flipping to get back to the parts about Sejer and Skarre, the 2 detectives, who are delightful characters. I just couldn't take any more mopey pov from the nut case(s)(there's always more than just the one). I realized ...more
Mark Rubinstein
Okay, this is a Norwegian mystery, one of the many Scandinavian novels flooding the market since the success of the Millennium trilogy.

The premise is interesting. A 17 year-old boy with a deprived homelife sets about playing malicious pranks on people in and around his village. Some of them have dreadful consequences. Kids can be really vicious, for sure.

The novel's problem is simple: there is very little suspense or tension. Much of it is written from the POV of the boy and you know his motiva
The book takes you deep into the hearts and minds of both victims and perpetrators, and, as in other Karin Fossum novels, the mystery is not who did it, but what made them do it. Fossum is no apologist for criminal behaviour, and never makes light of the consequences of her characters' villainous actions. Nevertheless, she can make you understand them in ways no other writer can. She shows a depth of compassion and insight rare not only in crime literature, but any literature. It's as if she's s ...more
Mark Stevens
“The Caller” lives in a world of slow-grinding cruelty, of mean neighborhood streets. The stakes aren’t high, unless you’re one of the rattled victims of the mean pranks and cruel tricks, but Karin Fossum shows how much mental destruction is possible even from low-grade violence.

“The Caller” didn’t really work that well for me because there wasn’t a whole lot of detection and uncovering going on by Inspector Konrad Sejer.

He seems kind of la-dee-dah about the whole situation, even though he’s c
Roderick Hart
[This review contains spoilers]

The main character in this book is Johnny Beskow, a teenager with a moped and a mother. His mother leaves a lot to be desired. She is an alcoholic with no real interest in her son, who is left to fend for himself a great deal. He does have a grandfather, whom he visits regularly and tries to look after. His mother has an interest in the old man too – how much money he might leave her when he dies.

Johnny, having little life of his own, decides to make an impact on
Carinae L'etoile
Billed as a thriller, it did anything but. Maybe I need to re-visit it later on, but for now it was just ok. Ok enough for me to let you know it was ok, but not enough for me to write a full blown review.

To be honest, the blurb was far more interesting than the book itself.
Kathleen Hagen
The Caller, by Karin Fossum, A. Narrated by David Rintoul, produced by Random House Audio, downloaded from

The latest in the Inspector Sejer, Norway, series. A happy couple with a sweet little baby think nothing could go wrong in their world. They have left the baby to sleep in her pram under the maple tree while they had a meal. But when the mother comes out to get the baby, she finds her daughter bathed in blood. They rush to the hospital and it turns out that blood is not her baby
Karin Fossum: The Caller (originally "Varsleren" in Norwegian; read a Finnish transl.)

I have read several of Karin Fossum's, a Norwegian crime writer's, novels. This was as good as her novels are, though a bit different in the plot. In many a usual crime novel the crime/murder happens in the beginning, and the rest is about solving the case. Not this time.

The book starts with a baby sleeping peacefully in the family garden while the parents happily eat in their house. They find their little girl
Victoria Moore
"The Caller," an Inspector Sejer Mystery, by Karin Fossum is a very strange book. I'm not sure if the mystery genre it's supposed to represent is psychological thriller or black comedy because it overlaps into both categories, with a little murder thrown in where you don't expect it, but whatever it is it kept me enthralled from the first page.
Fast-paced and slightly claustrophobic due to the proximity of the victims, the caller, preys upon it's less a book about outright horror than creeping
J.E. Fishman
I have never read Karin Fossum before, and it strikes me that this book may not have been the right place to start. It’s something of an anti-mystery/thriller. The perpetrator is known from the start and the victims for the most part remain unknown to the reader until just before bad luck befalls them. As a consequence, much of the dramatic tension comes from the general sense of inconvenience (one could hardly call it danger) felt by the residents of a small town with a cruel prankster on the l ...more
4.5 stars.
I have read and enjoyed 4 of Karin Fossum's books in the last couple of weeks, and was so impressed that I will be reading the rest of her fine mystery series. The books are set in a Norwegian town, and feature a patient, perceptive and kind older detective, Inspector Sejer and a younger policeman and friend, Skarre.
The books are short, tightly and well written with no wasted narrative,and you do not feel that you are reading a book in translation.
Someone is playing nasty, practical
Rebecca Martin
This book was between a 4 and a 5 for me. It's very unusual, in that we are pretty sure from the outset who is behind the upsetting doings in the small Norwegian town. This book features the detective work of Inspector Sejer but it is really a character study and a study of human relationships. What small thing can tear a seemingly very happy nuclear family apart? What is most frightening to those who know they are near death by disease? How strong is the bond between humans and the animals in t ...more
Read this while on vacation.

Great mystery for those who like to explore the characters and motivations and repercussions of the crime, rather than just figure out who did it.

Inspector Sejer is called in to investigate a series of what appear to be petty crimes - prank calls, fake obituaries, etc.

However, the events feel related and Fossum shows how each one - trivial as it may appear on the surface - affects the victims over time, messing with their heads and senses of self.

She also takes you in
A prankster keeps Inspector Sejer and Sharre on their toes. This novel might not be Karin Fossum best but it is a good read. The ending may disappoint readers who want their lose ends tied neatly.
Elizabeth Moffat
I wasn't sure about this book at first, it seemed a bit saccharin-sweet at times (perhaps something lost in translation?). However, about halfway through, I really started to enjoy the story. We are aware of who the perp is from the beginning which I found interesting as we were able to assess his character in more detail. Great ending as well - I won't spoil it but you have to read it to see what I mean.
This is the second book by Fossum I've read and I'm falling in love with her writing. There are no big surprises, no big suspense yet the story flows so well, you get the point of view of all the characters so you know fully what is happening. And yet there is just enough vagueness for it to not be complete at the end.
It starts out with a prank played on a couple, blood all over their baby who was laying in her pram outside. After that other pranks are played out, essentially harmless but never
Another absolute winner from Karin Fossum. I am so happy I didn't wait for its' US release date! I did end up giving this book 4 stars which is pretty uncommon for me with this author's books because it seemed to come off a tad more disjointed than what others in the Ins. Sejer series have. Still very much worth the read though!!
Stephen King recommended book. He said in Entertainment Weekly's column The Best Books I Read in 2012: "Pranks can have lethal consequences, even when they seem harmless to start with. Fossum, a Norwegian poet who has turned to crime, has confected a poison bonbon that ranks with the best of Ruth Rendell."
Inspector Sejer's tenth outing The Caller deals with a disturbed serial prankster. Parents find their baby's mouth covered in blood; somebody else's blood. Next, an obituary appears in the newspaper for someone who is still alive, and a coffin is called to a residence to pick up a dead body, but everybody in the house is living and nobody requested the hearse. Inspector Sejer and his sidekick Skarre knuckle down to find out who is behind these pranks that are much more than 'just a joke'. I like ...more
Elan Durham
I thought of Camus' 'The Stranger' after I'd read Karin Fossum's 'The Caller' ... a lonely tale of lone sociopaths, who are strangers to the people who love them. I am eager to get back to a more socially engaged novel. One of the reasons I've taken up crime fiction, and in particular Scandi or Nordic crime fiction is my interest in their Detectives. Traditionally, the Detective has provided a moral compass in a world gone mad. This novel maddened me somewhat because the POV so often rested with ...more
Liked this book a lot. Not a typical blood and guts book. Several parts of book were scarey without being gory. Author expressed her insight of the nature of people.
Cathi Davis
noir Norwegian mystery

Not a typical mystery. Yes there is an older policeman...alone..plodding and avuncular through the case. The strange occurrences, the abused young man, but..not really a mystery since we know who does what and why. But that is the amazing part of this book--the description of how these events tear apart the individuals grasp on reality, the impact the perception shift has on their lives, and the final scene of one victim seeing other victims act on their insecurities...and
Very dark, redemption, a bleak read and a questionable translation. May try this author again based on reputation, but this was not a great read.
I really liked it---I guess because I didn't have to wade through any smut or offensive language (I'd rather focus on what's going on.) I have had bad luck finding any other readable Norwegian-to-English translated books for those very issues just mentioned. It was a unique mystery, which was a bit refreshing, although quite a dark tale. My favorite thing about this novel was that Ms. Fossum was engaging and captivating while at the same time showing Johnny discovering and then having to deal wi ...more
Kenneth Fredette
This was a good read, always a new story with plots changing. Karin haas a great grasp on how the mind works and she's at her best in this book.
Someone is playing vicious pranks on random people in rural village neighborhoods. Peoples' lives are being permanently disturbed. Detective Sejer looks for the young man on the red scooter as incidents become more serious. Johnny is the youth whose mother is drunk most of the time. He regularly visits his homebound grandfather, the only person who he cares about or who cares about him. Someone dies horribly and responsibly is uncertain. Fossum develops a malicious yet vulnerable character in Jo ...more
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Karin Fossum is a Norwegian author of crime fiction,often known there as the "Norwegian queen of crime". She lives in Oslo. Fossum was initially a poet, with her first collection published in 1974 when she was just 20. It won the Tarjei Vesaas' Debutant Prize. She is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer series of crime novels, which have been translated into over 16 ...more
More about Karin Fossum...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Konrad Sejer (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Evas Öga (Inspector Konrad Sejer #1)
  • Don't Look Back (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #2)
  • He Who Fears the Wolf (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #3)
  • When the Devil Holds the Candle (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #4)
  • The Indian Bride (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #5)
  • Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #6)
  • Mordet på Harriet Krohn
  • The Water's Edge
  • Bad Intentions
  • Carmen Zita og døden
Don't Look Back (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #2) The Indian Bride (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #5) He Who Fears the Wolf (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #3) Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #6) When the Devil Holds the Candle (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #4)

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“Why did criminals have so many rights? Why were they entitled to respect and understanding? Had they not acted so unlawfully that these rights should be stripped from them?” 2 likes
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