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The Drowned Boy

(Konrad Sejer #11)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  2,284 ratings  ·  329 reviews
A new addition to the captivating Inspector Sejer series, the first since The Caller, from Norway’s finest crime writer

Carmen and Nicolai failed to resuscitate their son, Tommy, after finding him floating in their backyard pond. When Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, Carmen reports that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down syndrome, wandered into the garden while Nicola
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 4th 2013)
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Adam Yes Norway is metric. In the versions I have read in this series the British English versions have remained in metric. Whereas there was one book in t…moreYes Norway is metric. In the versions I have read in this series the British English versions have remained in metric. Whereas there was one book in the series I read that was an American English version, and everything had been converted into imperial measurements and various words where a more Americanised version was used eg stroller = pram. I imagine as part of the translation process they localise the English for the intended market.(less)

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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  2,284 ratings  ·  329 reviews

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Start your review of The Drowned Boy (Konrad Sejer, #11)
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
*3.5 stars *

I love Nordic noir, and this book by the Norwegian writer Karin Fossum is quite a short but powerful novel.

Fossum's protagonist in this series is Chief Inspector Sejer of the Sondre Buskerud police district – a widower in his fifties. Recently he has suffered from a series of severe dizzy attacks, but so far, despite the urgent entreaties of his daughter, he has not consulted a doctor.

His colleague, Jacob Skarre, brings him a new case. A sixteen-month-old boy has been drowned in a
Cathrine ☯️
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: group-challenge
Background check: I’ve previously read and enjoyed all the books in this series. This is #11 and no doubt my swan song with the collection.
It concerns what happens when a spoiled, definitely not right in the head "child has a child" of her own but not the perfect one she hoped for. He’s damaged, inconvenient, and as the title tells us, has drowned. No Sherlock Holmes needed to figure out how that happened, especially since it’s served up on the pages from the beginning. I had to take a look at
Diane S ☔
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 So glad that Fossum has decided to return to the Inspector Sejer series. In this one he becomes involved in the case of a drowned 15 month old boy with Down Syndrome. Although on the surface the death looks accidental, something just doesn't sit well with the mother's explanation. Enter, Carmen, the nineteen year old mother, who seems to view everything with rose colored glasses. Added to this is that in her father's eyes Carmen can do no wrong. Nicolei, the father of the boy sees things dif ...more
Dale Harcombe
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Tommy, a 16 month old boy, is believed drowned in a pond near his home. Tommy has Down’s syndrome. His mother claims he wandered off, while she was otherwise occupied for a few minutes. But something about the story doesn’t ring true to Inspector Jacob Skarre. He calls in chief Inspector Sejer to investigate. The mother, Carmen, is cold, selfish and manipulative. Given her behaviour and attitudes to many things, I found her hard to like. But is she capable of murder or was it an unfortunate acci ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2015
3.5 Stars Okay, straight up, the drowned 16month old child has Down Syndrome (that’s not a spoiler), and I have a child with a developmental disability. There was stuff or rather, characters in The Drowned Boy that made my blood boil.

However, I still really enjoyed The Drowned Boy. Yes, Fossum has such skill that I still enjoyed reading her latest offering despite my blood boiling throughout it.

Why not a higher rating? I thought the very end was weak.

Thankyou to Netgalley and the publisher for t
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
If you want to cling to the myth that drowning is a peaceful way to die, DO NOT read the prologue to this book. It lays out the mechanics of drowning in horrific detail.

But please, DO read this book. Just skip the prologue.

Young mother Carmen finds her Down's Syndrome toddler son Tommy floating in the pond in the back yard after having left him momentarily to go to the bathroom. Husband Nicolai was working on repairing bikes in the basement and heard nothing until Carmen's screams alerted him.

Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Drowned Boy – Stylish Nordic Noir

Karin Fossum is back with her 11th book in the Inspector Sejer Novel and it is once again easy to see why she is regarded as the Norwegian ‘Queen of Crime’. The Drowned Boy is another vintage Fossum creation; this book is a really compelling read, where nothing is lost in translation. Once again Karin Fossum gives us a tightly written, very compelling carefully crafted plot.

For those who have never read the Inspector Sejer series need to understand that this

I am a bit of a sucker for reading books with children in it, either missing, kidnapped etc
This is one of them that caught my eye.

We have a young couple, young in age, married, with a child of their own.

The one thing that made me cringe each time was that their son had Down's syndrome and it was a problem for the Mom, I think it was her attitude that wanted me to slap her and appreciate the child she had.

The trouble was, he was only a little toddler and on a hot summers day the Mom left the door
Dimitris Passas (TapTheLine)
This book was a disappointment for me as i deeply appreciate Karin Fossum's prose and choice of hard to handle subjects which often involve heinous criminal acts such as pedophilia or child abuse.This book is not an exception as Inspector Konrad Sejer is investigating a little child's -accidental or not?- death and mainly focuses on the two parents of the deceased, narrating the effects that the tragic event had on them as a couple. In my opinion, K. Fossum doesn't manage to move the reader in t ...more
Rachel Hall
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long-time admirers of the writing of Karin Fossum will know that her police procedural novels are rarely a simple matter of identifying a culprit and attributing blame. For Fossum, the psychological study of a crime and the individuals involved takes overriding precedence and matters are never definitively black and white. In a harrowing and sensitively observed eleventh outing she is in sublime form as she addresses the death of a sixteen-month-old Down syndrome toddler and portrays the repercu ...more
William Koon
Sep 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
I admire Fossum, although she is always dark in her interpretation of crime fiction. She once again pulls out her now aging Inspector Seger to investigate the death of a Down syndrome boy, Tommy.

There’s not much conflict. Mother Carmen is apparently guilty from early on of killing her two year old. Husband Nicolai is weak and ineffectual; so let’s have him commit suicide.

Throughout Carmen is too strong willed to be let go. We need to punish her for her attitude and her looks and her spirit.

Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally i have found a Scandinavian author that got my attention.

The Drowning Boy By Karin Fossum was a very quick read which kept me turning the pages the story was well written with likable characters will read more of this author
Dawn G
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Drowned Boy, number 11 in the Inspector Sejer Series, reminded me why Karin Fossum is one of my top 10 favorite authors. Fossum is a true psychological thriller/suspense writer focusing more on characterization and atmosphere than any other literary device. Her writing style and plots are uncluttered and are clearly intended to help the reader understand why the perpetrator acts the way he/she does.

This is a long running series; however, Fossum does not focus mainly on Inspector Sejer in an
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 11th Inspector Sejer novel from Karin Fossum, specialising again in the why of a crime. Why in this instance is a series of very big questions. Why did a young toddler end up dead in a pond near his house? Why did nobody think that secure fencing would be necessary for any child that age so close to water? Why is it particularly noteworthy that Tommy is a healthy boy, who happens to have Down's Syndrome? Why is his mother behaving so weirdly, and more to the point is she a spoilt princess or ...more
Jul 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
I normally enjoy Karin Fossum's writing but struggled with this book. I thought it was tediously repetitive and the ending was ridiculous. ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Norwegian author Karin Fossum has written another captivating mystery, and, as usual, she explores the human side of suspects just as much as the procedural one. Fossum, who was a poet before a mystery writer, suffuses the tragic story with fertile images and paces her stories with a pulse that keeps the pages turning. Word of caution: the jacket summary reveals crucial plot points that occur at the midpoint of the story. Don’t read it if you don’t want major spoilers.

The series’ regular inspect
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars rounded up for the quick, clear read. But as another GR reader posted in her review- this also was my least favorite Sejer so far. It's Sejer novel #11. Getting to #11 before I got to any which I had to consider giving a 2 star! That's fairly well said for this series.

This entire copy, every portion just felt different than any of the others. Not only in mood but in flow. This one goes into diary reads in portions, and doesn't roll evenly either. It started flat and went flatter for m
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Received this book of Net Galley in exchange for a honest review. This is the first book I have read by this author and I found her writing style very easy to read and the characters well described and believable.
The story is very dark and focuses on some very difficult and thought provoking subjects such as the death of children and Down syndrome.
There was not a lot of action in this book and given the storyline I couldn't understand what was making me want to read more but that's exactly how I
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is my first Karin Fossum novel that I have read. I wanted to read The Drowned Boy as I wondered how the author could make her novel about drowning different from the other novels.
I love the twist that Karin added with the 16 month old boy who had Down's Syndrome was found drowned in a pond. It is very rare that any author adds a child with Down's Syndrome.
My friend's sister had a beautiful baby girl with Down's Syndrome who had long eye lashes, but sadly died before she one.
And my daughte
Leeann Staggs
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Conversations were awkward and unemotional; details were given that seemed important, and that they might lead somewhere, only to fall flat, mean nothing, and be completely irrelevant; no ending (why even put so much time and detail into a story without giving it a conclusion...I mean, sure, we are to assume that the coincidence of all coincidences happened, but really? You can't have your main character do something more than stumble across pure dumb luck?) Pretty disappointing. ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Chilling, but I liked the dogs "treasure" at the end. Do 19 and 20 year old people really think and talk like this or is it the translation? I read this in ebook format. I did not listen to the audio version. ...more
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
I would like to thank Random House, Vintage Publishing and NetGalley for approving my request to read this book in exchange of an honest review.

​A tragedy... A terrible accident... Every parent's worst nightmare.

Tommy, a sixteen-month-old boy is left unattended at home for just a few minutes while his mother is doing house chores in another room. He is then nowhere to be found. After a frenetic search, his mother Carmen, is horrified to find him face down in the pond at the back of their house.
Minty McBunny
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, december-2015
I absolutely adore this series, I have read every one and, with the exception of the Indian. Bride, I have loved them all. I was over the moon to see a new Inspector Sejer book in the library. And horribly disappointed once I read it.

First off, the translation was not nearly as good as usual. The phrasing was stilted and awkward in places, and since that has absolutely never been a problem with Fossum's writing, I know the translator must be to blame.

That aside, the story had potential but did
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Inspector Sejer's. As usual, Fossum takes her time telling the story. She doesn't need guns, bombs or serial killers to write an engrossing plot, just ordinary humans in horrific circumstances. It was nice to see some known faces, like Irene or Skarre, even if Frank the dog is more of Sejer's partner on this one. I thought that the story was going to end in a very dissatisfying way, but then a final twist made it all better. I hope there are many more stories to come. ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
This is my first, and probably my last, by this author. None of the characters were very engaging and the ending was too gimmicky. I am readings lots of Scandinavian crime novels/noir so I thought I would give Fossum/Sejer a try.

P.S. This book is so bad that I forgot I read it entirely. I thought I quit it early on but, no, I read all of it.
Renita D'Silva
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thrilling and poignant, loved this book.
Lukasz Pruski
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
"There's a lot you don't know."

I do have "a thing" for Karin Fossum's prose and have rated several of her novels with five stars. I love that she writes about everyday matters and captures the extraordinary meanings of completely ordinary, everyday events. She teaches us the truth and beauty of little things using narration closer to a whisper than to a scream. She is a serious mystery writer who has not yet succumbed to the allure of commercialism. While The Drowned Boy is certainly not Ms. Fos
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book! I won't spoil too much, but I was hooked from the beginning. I love the author's choice of words for the whole entire book, and I really think that this expanded my vocabulary. 9.5/10 ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum is a highly recommended eleventh book in the Norwegian police procedural featuring Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jakob Skarre. Be forewarned that the novel opens with a very graphic description of what happens when someone drowns.

Tommy Brandt, a healthy 16-month-old boy with Down syndrome, is found drowned in the pond behind his parent's house. Carmen Zita, Tommy's mother, claims he wandered outside when she was cleaning, or in the bathroom washing out some clothes.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller, crime
This story is a bit sad. The prologue tried to put me in a funk as it describes what it is like for someone to drown. The Drowned Boy had some really unlikable characters and a few good guys. This book had me really just hoping for justice for little Tommy.

The synopsis for this story really gives everything away. I am so glad I don’t read synopsis much, I skim them and go with my gut based on the cover. It’s a real scientific method.

Here is what I would have said for the synopsis:
Detective S
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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

Other books in the series

Konrad Sejer (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Evas öga (Konrad Sejer, #1)
  • Don't Look Back (Konrad Sejer #2)
  • He Who Fears the Wolf (Konrad Sejer, #3)
  • When the Devil Holds the Candle (Konrad Sejer, #4)
  • The Indian Bride (Konrad Sejer, #5)
  • Black Seconds (Konrad Sejer, #6)
  • The Murder of Harriet Krohn (Inspector Konrad Sejer #7)
  • The Water's Edge (Konrad Sejer, #8)
  • Bad Intentions (Konrad Sejer, #9)
  • The Caller (Konrad Sejer, #10)

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