Jessica Woodbury's Reviews > Bad Intentions

Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum
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Jun 21, 11

bookshelves: arc, kindle, crime-mystery
Read from June 17 to 21, 2011

I've been reading Karin Fossum for years now, so I've had a chance to see her change. Her books started as more traditional crime novels. Procedurals, basically, with a stoic and sensitive Inspector Sejer at their heart. They were always smarter and more emotionally honest than your average crime novel.

Lately she's moved in a different direction. Her novels claim to be Inspector Sejer books but he is only a minor figure in "Bad Intentions." Instead the book focuses on a group of 3 men, friends since childhood, who have something to hide.

The book is not really about detection or finding out who did it. We know who, but we don't exactly know what. What we get to see mostly is how it ripples through their relationships and the lives of those around them.

Fossum's writing is good, as always. Her new style is lovely and spare and heartwrenching. But I kind of miss the old Karin Fossum who made crime novels something better than they generally are. This new one doesn't actually care much about that type of thing anymore. I am thinking perhaps I like the middle-Fossum best, where there was still structure but plenty of artful writing as well. (The Indian Bride comes to mind.)

Plus I miss Sejer himself. He is a great character and he and his partner, Skarre, are little more than window dressing.

I will never have to dump Fossum the way I dumped Ruth Rendell--for sheer lazy writing. But I wonder if Fossum and I will continue to be as close as we always were.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Mary I agree. I was a bit disappointed by this book. I enjoy the character of Inspector Sejer and he was definitely not included enough in the book to be titled " an Inspector Sejer Mystery".


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