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Black Seconds (Inspector Konrad Sejer #6)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,458 Ratings  ·  329 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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Rachel Hall
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Black Seconds, is the sixth instalment in Karin Fossum’s outstanding series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer and Jacob Skarre and begins with every parent’s worst nightmare: a missing child. Released in Norway in 2002 and only available in English translation in 2007, this novel is a police procedural, although its immense power stems from some breathtaking psychological insights and the compassion of the investigators. The crime itself is very simple, and sadly an everyday occurrence, yet Fossu ...more
David R. Dowdy
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Karin Fossum knows well the edginess and anticipation her readers feel as they plunge into extraordinary crime. She drives them to continue reading. How and why did the event happen? Who did it? What are the inescapable feelings of the family and the accused?

Inspector Konrad Sejer continues to thrill me with his probing questions. Mild and assuming, he puts a subject at ease. He waits for them to fill the silence. Then, he pounces on their statements. Not proud, but correct and professional.

He'
...more
Girish
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not all crimes are driven by malice and some of the best mysteries are not whodunnits but rather the how and why. This book crosses the 'T' on that. Inspecter Sejer with his calm and refined pursuit for the truth, than the criminal, is definitely one of the most charming fictional detectives.

Ida Joner, a young girl goes missing along with her bicycle, under the watchful eyes of her mother. Inspecter Sejjer knows when a young girl is kidnapped, the girl will turn up, dead or alive, very soon. How
...more
Lukasz Pruski
Jan 15, 2015 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
Tony
Mar 01, 2010 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
Sara
May 28, 2012 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
...more
Vesela
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, crime, drama, nordic-noir
Още една чудесна скандинавска книга!
Много ми хареса историята, атмосферата, героите....
Напоследък съм много чувствителна , когато чета или гледам филми за изчезнали малки деца и затова тази книга истински ме разтърси и я съ-преживях.
Не си спомням откога не съм чувствала истинска жал и съчувствие към някой герой, както това се случи в тази книга с един от героите - умствено изостанал мъж.
Типичното за скандинавските романи - социалният елемент - не липсваше и тук.
Изобщо, само суперлативи мога
...more
Naomi Blackburn
Jun 09, 2010 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.
Marissa Morrison
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
It's wonderful how kind the detectives are. But Fossum seems to have forgotten that police procedurals have at their core a mystery. This is not so much a who-done-it as a when-will-the-police-realize-it.
Colin Mitchell
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
To date I have enjoyed the Inspector Sejer series. Unfortunately the plot of this one, involving the disappearance of of young girl, was very similar to a previous story and very transparent. As soon as Tomme and Willy started to work on the car it was evident what had happened. Quite believable characters but the books do portrait Norway as dark and the people dour.

Could easily have thrown this one down. 2 stars only
Thomas Bruso
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Laura 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
False
The more I read Karin Fossom, the more I am appreciating what she does with her writing. Wonderful psychological insight into even the smallest characters, through the protagonist's eyes of Konrad Sejer--a detective with old-fashioned sensibilities. A young girl goes missing. Everyone in the small town assumes she's dead, and how it affects the families and inhabitants, even down to their pets.
Inés
Nov 19, 2015 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.
solaret
Oct 29, 2011 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
...more
Mona
Jun 20, 2012 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
Dorian
Aug 08, 2008 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
...more
Carol
Apr 20, 2014 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.
Anette
Ufattelig forutsigbar, visste så og si med en gang nøyaktig hva som hadde skjedd, men likevel er det noe med karakterene og måten det er skrevet på som gjorde at jeg ikke klarte å slutte å lese.
harryknuckles
Feb 10, 2011 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
Rose Pena
Dec 24, 2014 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
...more
Roderick Hart
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Frank
Feb 15, 2016 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
...more
Hal
Apr 11, 2015 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
...more
Rob Kitchin
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Shonna Froebel
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translations
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
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
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-crime, 2013
A young girl, Ida, goes to the store and is does not come home.
The characters are very well drawn - the author shows us a very insightful look into the thinking and reasoning of several interesting characters. Even Inspector Sejer seems more reflective
It was clear from the beginning what had happened - but how they learned of the story was an entirely different matter
It was a little slow moving - but it greatly held my interest
Heather
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
Mary Kathryn
Aug 04, 2008 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.
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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 13 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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