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Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer #6)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,677 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off to buy sweets. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, Helga Joner, her mother, starts to worry. She phones the shop and various friends, but no one has seen her daughter. As the family goes out looking for Ida, Helga's worst nightmare be ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 5th 2007 by Harvill Secker (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 01, 2010 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fossum, Karin. BLACK SECONDS: An Inspector Sejer Mystery. (2002; this translation 2007). *****. This is another terrific psychological mystery by Fossum, who is a writer you must read – if you haven’t already done so. Inspecter Sejer is an older man, one who tries to understand the vagaries of life and the roots of crime, rather than simply trying to solve them. He is very much like earlier detectives from many other novelists in that he seeks to solve through understanding of motives, but disti ...more
May 28, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a wonderful series. I've read two others but didn't realize that ALL of Fossum's books are now available on Kindle through my local library. Wow, I am going to start from the beginning and read them all.
Ida, a beautiful, precocious, daring only child, turns up missing. Two threads are developed, one of which leads to the killer, in an unpredictable way. It may seem strange to comment on the COLOR of a police procedural, but the use of color in this book is striking and significant - a y
Lukasz Pruski
Jan 16, 2015 Lukasz Pruski rated it it was amazing
I had begun reading mysteries in about 1970, but it was only in 1998, when I began rating them for my own amusement (being a computational mathematician I love numbers). I did not rate all of the mysteries that I read, but I did most of them. A few days ago I looked my ratings up, and found out that among about 1300 mysteries I have rated there are just two that have received the highest rating of 9.5 out of 10, in my scale. One of them is Karin Fossum's novel "Black Seconds" (published in 2002 ...more
Lola Wallace
My objection to this book has nothing to do with the subject matter (I read a lot of really dark crime novels) and everything to do with the shoddy police work. What was actually a really obvious solution, as improbable and absurdly coincidental as it was, remained obscured until the end because the cops just didn't ask the right questions, the obvious questions to ask. It's several days into a child's disappearance before you bother to find out why her parents are divorced? You can't know that' ...more
Feb 11, 2016 Inés rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Desde el tercer capítulo sabía lo que había pasado,todo!!! Totalmente defraudada con esta novela,más cuando Fossum es de mis autores nórdicos favoritos. Leed a Karin Fossum,pero no este título.
Jun 21, 2012 Mona rated it really liked it
This is the second Karin Fossum book I've read (I'm on a Scandinavian crime fiction reading jag right now). One thing I notice about her style is that it's an emotional drama disguised as a mystery/crime. Karin Fossum tells the story about a little girl who disappears while off riding her bike on her way to a store - every parent's nightmare. The emotion that grips all the characters as the story develops gives them fullness and depth, and makes for compelling reading. If you are expecting polic ...more
Aug 08, 2008 Dorian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enough with the comparisons to Ruth Rendell already! (Every review or article or blurb about Fossum in the ENglish-speaking world goes there.) Fossum has the same psychological complexity, the same interest in psychological aberrance, but a lot more compassion than Rendell.

True, her detective, Sejer, is a bit too noble--how come fictional detectives are either perfect (a la Dalgleish, Poirot, Holmes) or shambling wrecks (a la Rebus, Wallander, Erlendur)?--but the book does a terrific job at seem
Jun 09, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing
I plan on giving all of my Karin Fossum reviews the same statement because I don't even want the hint of a spoiler on this woman's fantastic work. Fossum's writing gave me my love of Scandanavian mystery writers and I seek those writings out. Hands down,though, Fossum's work is the best I have come across so far.
Dec 14, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Another good read by ms Fossum with a missing child as the focus of the crime but with the twists and turns that accompany her stories. Once again detective Sejer solves the crime and this time we get a better look at him and a good glimpse of his psyche. I did enjoy this one.
Rose Pena
Dec 25, 2014 Rose Pena rated it really liked it
Tick-tock goes the clock as the black seconds pass.
Ida Joner; a pure, animal-loving girl from Norway. She's young and excited. After all it's her birthday in a week and she's finally going to turn 10 years old. One day, she goes off to buy a magazine and some candy. She takes her bike, she straps on her helmet, and she's off. Her mother waits at home. But after a while, little Ida doesn't return. The police are called and the incident is reported. They search but to no avail. She's vanished int
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing
Creepy is an understatement when talking about Karin Fossum's detective series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer and his colleague Jacob Skarre. In "Black Seconds," readers get a glimpse into a dark world not too many authors can create as powerful and troubling as Fossum.

From the beginning of the series in "Don't Look Back" until now in "Black Seconds," Fossum knows how to create a believable and realistic sketch of her characters and their aging lives. As evidence, Konrad Sejer is not the same
Thomas Strömquist
I've seen a lot of comparisons between this and the preceding book in the series, The Indian Bride and the story of the disappearance of a 9-year old girl and the pursuing investigation is surely as tragic and dark as that one. This one, however, did not speak to me as "Indian Bride" did. Not sure if I can pin-point why, but I certainly think you must be in the mood for Fossums melancholic prose. I certainly have a problem at times with her short sentences. It may be that, or the fact that I nev ...more
I have read 2 other of Karin Fossum's in this series, the first and the 9th, this seems to disagree with other ratings but I didn't feel this was as good, a different translator perhaps? I don't know , I will continue with the others and hope to find them better than Black Seconds, slightly disappointed
I like to read Scandinavian authors to gain insight into my Norwegian heritage. I've also read Fossum's The Indian Bride. But all these tales are so dark.

Besides the dark, gloomy weather in these stories, the characters often are anti-social loners with wounds from familial disconnects. I can't say that anyone is ever particularly happy but they go on--sometimes with some consolation--in this case a puppy!

This is probably it for the category and examining my Nordic roots. After all, my father an
Jun 01, 2015 WordsBeyondBorders rated it really liked it
Early on in Karin Fossum's 'Black Seconds', when her daughter Ida has not come back home long after going to purchase some comics, Helga starts getting nervous but also thinks "... Why did this feel so familiar? Because she had already, for many years now, been rehearsing this moment in her mind...". This insight into the mind of not just Helga but any parents whose child is young, the fear that your child cannot take care of him/herself, the fear that she may get lost/hurt and sets the tone for ...more
Julius Agho
Oct 05, 2014 Julius Agho rated it really liked it
Karin Fossum's Black Seconds was one of the first books to capture my attention. This book is dark, intense, and almost impossible to put down novel about investigation!
Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Ida’s friends, anyone who could have seen her. But no one has. Suspicion immediately f
Feb 17, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
Just shy of her 10th birthday, Ida Joner disappears while biking down to the neighborhood store. She never arrived at her destination and no one saw a thing. Volunteers mount days of searches to no avail. When clues do surface, the mystery only deepens.

Inspector Konrad Sejer pushes forward with a case that concludes with a page-turning series of interrogations including an autistic loner in his early 50s whose only word is "no".

Sejer does not just want to win; he also wants to understand what
Apr 19, 2015 Hal rated it really liked it
In Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer series, the more intriguing mystery is usually not so much whodunit as how and why they did it. In "Black Seconds," the Norwegian novelist weaves together two narrative strands that give us telling hints about who is responsible for the death of young girl.

Writing of Sejer, she says: "[H]e wanted to understand. If all he were required to do was arrest people and help them make a confession, the job would be pointless as far as he was concerned."

Fossum's lean, s
This story took a lot longer to really get started than a lot of Fossum's other works. Once it did get going, I enjoyed it, though it's not my favorite of hers. There's not too much to say about this one. Like Fossum's other works, it's a dark story, but not a heavy, gothic darkness; more a quiet, uneasy darkness. The detective, Inspector Sejer, is a thoughtful, intelligent man more concerned with understanding the crime and the criminal than with punishing him, and so he's a lot more enlightene ...more
Mary Kathryn
Aug 14, 2008 Mary Kathryn rated it really liked it
All of the Inspector Sejer books are good, but this one excels more as a mystery than as a furtherance of the main character. The central death, like the one in "Indian Bride," is so tragic. It shocks because of how normal the circumstances are surrounding it, not by how luried they are.
Jan 21, 2016 Carol rated it liked it
Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Ida 19s friends 14anyone who could have seen her. But no one has. Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasn 19t spoken since childhood. A mother 19s worst nightmare in either case 14to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. (Amazon review) It's clear almost from the beginnin ...more
Sep 08, 2015 Claude rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, a, nordic
My favourite Karin Fossum so far. On to the next episode
Apr 29, 2016 Kat rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Woodbury Moore
This is the 6th Inspector Sejer mystery, and it's gripping. Ida Joner, an outgoing, pretty almost-10-year-old, sets off on her bike one evening and never returns. What happened to her and why is the focus of the story. The characters include Ida's mother; her nervous 18-year-old cousin, who crashed his car on the same night Ida disappeared; Emil, a speechless, autistic man in his 50's; his overbearing mother; and Inspectors Sejer and Skarre, who approach the case with diligence, frustration, and ...more
== A yellow bicycle and a red feather! ==

This is a somber tragic story that will arouse readers’ emotions. Is there anything more tragic than when a happy, vivacious and beautiful nine year old disappears without a trace in a small idyllic town that everyone assumes to be comfortable and safe? Ida Joner was that child who took off on her shiny new yellow bike to buy her favourite girl’s magazine and a pack of gum. It wasn’t far. She should have been back home within half an hour. But she never r
Janette Fleming
Apr 12, 2012 Janette Fleming rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
SYNOPSIS The plot in this book revolves around a child, Ida Joner, that disappears. she rides out on her yellow bike to buy some sweets. When she fails to return 35 minutes after she should have, her mother Helga starts to worry. She starts phoning around, but nobody has seen her. She scours the streets to no avail. So eventually she calls the police.
The next day a local search is organized, but without result. Ida Joner and her yellow bicycle seem to have vanished into thin air. As the relative
May 02, 2011 harryknuckles rated it it was amazing
Ida Joner is a sweet girl, adored by her mother Helga. She loves animals, and is looking forward to her tenth birthday. One day she rides out on her yellow bike to buy some sweets. When she fails to return 35 minutes after she should have, Helga starts to worry. She phones around, but there is no word, and eventually she calls the police. Still no news the following day, a local search is organised, with hundreds of local volunteers. However, nothing comes of it. Ida Joner and her yellow bicycle ...more
Nov 09, 2013 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Konrad Sejer
SERIES: #5 of 7
RATING: 4.25

Ida Joner is a beautiful nine-year-old girl who is the shining light in her mother, Helga's, life. When Ida sets out on her bicycle one day and doesn't return, Helga fears the worst. She's always had a feeling that something terrible would happen to Ida. The small community in which they live immediately begins a massive search, but there is no trace of Ida or her bicycle. Helga leans heavily on her sister, Ruth, and he
Sarah Potter
Nov 28, 2013 Sarah Potter rated it really liked it
I first discovered the Norwegian Karin Fossum on a television programme about Nordic Crime writers, when she talked about the fact that she liked to set her stories in small settlements where everyone is known to each other and the killer might be any of the next-door neighbours or relatives. As with all of her writing, "Black Seconds" never disappoints, even though I guessed what had happened to missing child about a third of the way through the book. I admit to being in love with Sejer, the de ...more
Oct 29, 2011 solaret rated it liked it
A common problem in mystery books seems to be that the true killer comes out of nowhere. Particularly in Agatha Christie books, red herrings are scattered all over the place, and the real killer always seems to be the most implausible person. Black Seconds, however, went too far in the other direction, in my opinion.

The first half of the book is concerned with Ida, an almost-ten-year-old girl who suddenly disappears one day. The second half deals with what happens after they find her.

I really en
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Karin Fossum (née Mathisen) 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 translate ...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)
  • Mordet på Harriet Krohn (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #7)
  • The Water's Edge (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #8)
  • Bad Intentions (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #9)
  • The Caller (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #10)
  • The Drowned Boy (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #11)

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