Black Seconds
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Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer #6)

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,479 ratings  ·  211 reviews
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 falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 10th 2009 by Mariner Books (first published 2002)
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Lukasz Pruski
(This is a review I had originally posted elsewhere, in July 2010, before I read several other books by Ms. Fossum.)

I have been reading mystery novels for over forty years, at a pace of about a hundred books a year. Karin Fossum's "Black Seconds" is her third book I read, and to me it is the best. I began with "When the Devil Holds the Candle" and I liked it. I loved "Don't Look Back", especially the masterful way the author teases the reader at the beginning, by way of a "false start". I found...more
Tony
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
Sara
May 28, 2012 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...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
Mona
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
Dorian
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...more
Linda
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...more
Evanston Public  Library
9-year old Ida Joner is missing. She'd left her house to ride her bike to the candy kiosk a mile or so away. This happens at the get-go in Fossum's chilling tale, and you know something horrible is going to happen. In fact, Fossum's method of playing out the story doesn't really keep you in the dark: you meet the prime suspects--a local character, a mute, autistic man and his elderly mother; you follow Inspector Sejer's thinking on the troubling case and how doubts keep creeping into his mind; a...more
Mary Kathryn
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.
Neena
Karin Fossum has become my favourite author with this 3rd book that I have read. After Christie she seems like only author that I could read in a row and think I would not get bored. Her books have this old world feeling about them despite being so unlike old times mysteries when it comes to simple crime of older times vs a-bit-way-too-darkness in her books. I still would put her books in cozy genre. Inspector Sejar has become my favourite now. He is so ordinary and real. Fossum is almost effort...more
Thomas Bruso
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...more
Janette Fleming
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...more
harryknuckles
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
Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Inspector Konrad Sejer
SETTING: Norway
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...more
Sarah Potter
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
solaret
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...more
Roderick Hart
A young girl called Ida disappears. She had gone to a local shop on her distinctive yellow bicycle. It soon becomes clear that there are two main suspects, Tomme, a teenage relative, and Emil, over fifty now, whose vocabulary is restricted to the word ‘no’, though his ability to think is greater than that might suggest.

Tomme has just bashed his car and has recruited an older friend, Willy, to fix it for him. Perhaps Tomme ran into Ida and Willy is removing any evidence? When asked, Tomme can ex...more
Jackie
May 07, 2008 Jackie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
This is not the first book by this Norwegian author, in fact several of her novels featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer have been translated into 16 languages. He's in this one as well. But don't worry--this story stands nicely on its own and translator Charlotte Barslund did a seamless job so the story flows as smoothly as it was originally written.

One day, 9 year old Ida Joner gets on her bicycle to go to the local market for a magazine and some gum--and she never comes home. This one mystery slow...more
Louise Mundt
Jeg ved ikke, om det var fordi, jeg var kørt lidt træt i de mange krimier, men jeg synes ikke, den fængede helt på samme måde som de andre af Karin Fossums bøger.

Bogen skydes i gang, da den 10-årige Ida forsvinder sporløst, efter hun er kørt til kiosken på sin nye cykel efter slik og et hesteblad. Da Ida ikke kommer hjem, ringer hendes mor til politiet, og det er Sejer, der som sædvanlig må efterforske forbrydelsen. Politiet finder snart Ida’s cykel forladt i vejkanten og frygter det værste.

Det...more
Karmen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaime
This book is part of a detective series, but it’s written like literary fiction. I thought there was some really fantastic imagery; for example, this passage, which alludes to the book’s title:

Her heart was pounding hard and it hurt; she could hear the clock on the wall ticking mechanically. She had always thought of seconds as tiny metallic dots; now they turned into heavy black drops and she felt them fall one by one.

That stuck with me throughout the entire book, and we’re brought back to it i...more
Dagný
Few days ago I went into the bookstore to get a mystery, hoping to stumble upon something I recognized or had forgotten about wanting. I didn't see such a thing and, having some time on my hands, started judging by the covers and sampling the prose of the 30 or so featured mystery books. Fossum's prose immediately pulled me in and I was astonished to realize that here was Norway's foremost mystery writer that somehow had escaped my attention all these years. Later, when I looked her up on the ne...more
Kathleen Hagen
Black Seconds, by Karin Fossum, a-minus, produced by BBC Audio, purchased as compact discs from audio editions.

Many of Fossum’s books are about children going missing, and the books are set in Norway. In this book, a little girl, a very nice little girl who always followed her mother’s suggestions, rides off on her bike one day and never comes back. Her mother was so grateful for such a good little girl that she always worried that her daughter would be taken from her, and now she was. Many days...more
Rob Kitchin
Black Seconds is somewhat of a curious read as there was not much mystery to the case, yet it was oddly compelling. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, the storytelling is quite understated, simply focused on the unfolding of the events and its consequences to those involved. The characterisation and social interactions are keenly observed, providing a high degree of social realism and emotional sensitivity. The hook is the exploration of how crime and life are rarely black an...more
Nath
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve
This was a very enjoyable mystery which, for the first time in one of her novels, heavily features her two protagonists, Inspector Konrad Sejer and his protégé, Jacob Skarre. They are investigating the disappearance of a nine year old girl, Ida Joner (per Sejer, a Mary Pickford lookalike). In this one, it is not so much that the storyline is all that complex. Mostly it is that the author has created memorable characters (Emil Johannes Mork [50+ years of age, only says “no”, probably mentally cha...more
Chris
If I were a talented reviewer, I would write a wonderful essay about how this book deals with family interests, conflicts, and psychology.

But I’m not.

This was so good that I almost missed my stop on the subway. Honestly, if the train hadn’t been delayed I would have.

Don't have to say anymore.

Crossposted at Booklikes.
Laura
The narrator of this audio book is fairly good, but I don't think the story is exceptional. It seems a pretty standard mystery, and there have been enough hints already (by disc 3) to give me a good idea of who the suspects are, and who is the likely perpetrator. However, it's an engaging enough story that I will finish it.

After finishing the book:

An interesting enough story, though I had worked out my theory of what happened before halfway, and it turned out to be right on target. The suspense...more
Shonna Froebel
This novel of psychological suspense is centered around the disappearance of an extremely cute seven-year-old girl. She has set off on her bicycle to go to the nearby shop but never arrives. The police are called in and organize searches, but Ida seems to have vanished without a trace. Many characters have their own secrets and stories, and this adds to the suspense. In Ida's own family her two cousin's react very differently, one not wanting to speak of her at all. A friend of the cousin is inv...more
yexxo
Wer Krimis nur mag, wenn darin viel Mord und Totschlag vorkommen ist hiermit sicher nicht gut bedient. Es dauert allein 140 Seiten (knapp die Hälfte), bis eindeutig klar ist, dass sich tatsächlich ein Verbrechen ereignet hat. Die Autorin legt ihren Schwerpunkt auf die Darstellung des Innenlebens ihrer Protagonisten: Was denken, fühlen sie? Dies aber so gekonnt, dass man bis zum Schluss über die eigentlichen Verbrechen im Unklaren bleibt. Man beginnt etwas zu ahnen, wird aber durch die Beschreibu...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...
Don't Look Back (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #2) The Indian Bride (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #5) He Who Fears the Wolf (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #3) When the Devil Holds the Candle (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #4) The Caller (Inspector Konrad Sejer, #9)

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