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The Water's Edge

(Konrad Sejer #8)

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,531 ratings  ·  315 reviews
A married couple, Reinhardt and Kristine Ris, are out for a Sunday walk when they discover the body of a boy and see the figure of a man limping away. They alert the police, but not before Reinhardt, to Kristine’s horror, kneels down and takes photographs of the dead child with his cell phone. Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jakob Skarre begin to make inquiries in the little t ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 4th 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
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Aleka Mor You can read Insp. Sejer series as standalone novels, the order doesn't matter. Although I started to after The Indian Bride for my own personal…moreYou can read Insp. Sejer series as standalone novels, the order doesn't matter. Although I started to after The Indian Bride for my own personal satisfaction.(less)

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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,531 ratings  ·  315 reviews


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Paul Bryant
This is the third time it's happened in the last three months. Each time I swear I'll never do it again. But something comes over me. The first one was Finders Keepers – ah, so sweet, so compelling, its pages so fresh and yet so depraved. The next one was Hate List – yes, yes, young adult. And now this. I'm supposed to be reading David Mitchell! I may have to face the truth that I'm developing a.. problem ... with crime thrillers which take 48 hours to hoover up. This is so out of character for ...more
Judith
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I cannot rate this book. I cannot even tell if it is well written or not. I just kept wondering what the author was trying to do here.

My guess is that she is trying to elicit sympathy for a disgusting pervert, but I may be wrong because I cannot be rational when the lead detective, Inspector Sejer, says things like he needs to be unbiased and that he cannot understand why gay men are accepted but pedophiles will always be hated and later on tries to equate pedophilia (and one who ended with a d
...more
Ron Christiansen
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
A good read but not my favorite of Fossum's. While an interesting exploration of the nature of pedophilia, often the dialog between Sejer and Skarre, the central detectives of the series, feels forced, created merely to further the philosophical debate about pedophilia. For example,

"Why are they mainly men?" Skarre wondered.
"Well...I'm not expert but women are much better at initmacy and emotions than men. What we are dealing with here are men who arenet in touch with their own feelings...They
...more
June Ahern
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my first-time read of Karin Fossum and not my last. The Water's Edge can be a difficult story as it deals with child abduction and pedophilia. If this is a "no no" for you, do not read this book. Ms. Fossum uncovers the layers of her characters flaws, hopes and fears, one-by-one. In some ways the plot of kidnapping and murder highlights the psychology of most involved. I found that very interesting how between the action and results we saw the person.

Reinhardt and his wife Kristine Ris
...more
Lane
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Karin Fossum's books. (Full disclosure: my heritage is half Norwegian and I'm intrigued by the Skandinavian perspective.) They take the genre of murder mystery to a brilliant new level by focusing on the effects of the murder on all the different people involved instead of on figuring out whodunnit. So refreshing! With every new book Fossum explores a different dynamic, a different type of relationship and issue in society.

In Water's Edge, the relationship we follow is that of the couple
...more
Tom
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great detective mystery by a gifted writer. In all of Karim Fossum's novels she creates a story so realistic that terror, fear, and tension are created organically. Be sure to read any one of her novels. They are unforgettable!
Dave Riley
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction

The Water's Edge by Karin Fossum

Karin Fossum

I think Karin Fossum is the most emotionally interesting of crime writers. She moves you and makes you think about our relationships to one another in our communities. Regional Norway becomes a crucible of the rest of our existence and what assumptions may rule our perceptions. Her stories aren't so much about Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jakob Skarre but about us. These coppers are mere conduits to confronting underlying conundrums. This story has a l
...more
Rachel Hall
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Water's Edge tackles the controversial topic of how suspicion in a small community can have very profound and very different consequences on all of those who it touches, and marked an impressive and intelligent first read from author, Karin Fossum. Although this is the eighth novel in the series featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer and Jacob Skarre, The Water's Edge works well as a standalone.

During their regular Sunday afternoon walk as has become customary, married couple Reinhardt and Kristin
...more
Colin Mitchell
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
A young boys body is found in some woodland closed to a lake. Insp Konrad Sojer takes up the case with his partner Skarre. The couple who found the body had seen a man near the entrance to the path and reported this to police. Unfortunately there the plot falls apart as the police appear to do nothing except philosophise about their feelings regarding the type of person who would sexually assault and kill a young boy. The couple who found the body then see the man in a local supermarket and foll ...more
Lobstergirl
Aug 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Haley Barbour
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: the New Yorker recommended Karin Fossum a few years ago
This wasn't a bad book, but I think I'm done with the pedophiliac subgenre of police procedurals. Especially the ones where the author goes inside the perv's head and writes chapters from his perspective, as the perv inhales the delicious scent of the victim's tiny shorts - a combination of urine, seawater, and sweet apples. I read mysteries to escape from reality, not to dig around in rapists' heads.
Cherie
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, I wasn't quite prepared for a creepy and sad story, nor the conversation about men who like little boys. I did admire how the information was presented though.

This is my third Inspector Sejer story. I felt that the writing style was quite cold and stark at first, but I think it has to do more with the translation to English more than anything else. I am learning to care more for the Inspector and his partner Skarre with each book read. I was quite taken with their compassion and professiona
...more
Agnes Muscoreil
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hoopla
So happy to have Hoopla pick up several of Karin's books. Procedural police work descriptions are so honest in this tale of the search for the killer of a young boy by a pedophile. The study of the couple who found the body was a revelation on how little we can know about those we are with every day. Look forward to more of Karin.
Kathy
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
not my favorite - definitely not a book to enjoy while on a hiking vacation in the mountains of California...a lot of psycho/creepy regarding children and psycho/immature adults - Had to finish as library loan period was looming and wished I could be reading another book I preferred!
Allison
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
So, I read these three mysteries at the same time. This was definitely the best of the three. The other two were horrible. Horrible writing, horrible story plot, gratuitous swearing-definetly not books I would recommend. They threw me off reading for a while-I was that disappointed. Anyway, this book was a decent mystery, probably not even in the good category, in the okay category. I think it seemed better than it really was because of the other two. The author, I am still not sure what she was ...more
Angie
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fossum has created a small masterpiece in "The Water's Edge". The book is remarkably short. She manages to cram an incredible amount of what I shall call "emotional" information about her characters by telegraphing their actions and for the most part, their thoughts and speech. The longest paragraphs in the book involve, however, the grieving mothers talking about the two boys whose disappearances make up the supposed raison d'etre of the story. But for Sejer and Skarre, Fossum's well-loved poli ...more
Calzean
Fossum has a thing about crimes against children and crimes committed by children. She also has a theme of children going missing and being picked up by nasty men, or by men who are different. Her books often have two crimes were at the end we find there has been two different perpetuators. So while this is an OK book, this series is becoming a bit formulaic.
Rebecca
Dec 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I began reading this Friday morning (I believe it will be a good book), but when I heard about the horrific events in CT had to put it down for a while as it is too close to real-life events.

This book had a nice twist.
H. P. Reed
One of this author's best.
Karen
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scandinavian, crime
One of the things that I particularly love about really good crime fiction is the way that it highlights the human condition - warts and all. The thing I particularly love about Karin Fossum's books is the way that she explores the notion of the sad, the stupid, the moments in which things go awry. To my mind, there's something profoundly more sobering about the notion of momentary mistake or misjudgement - rather than the automatic presumption of evil.

THE WATER'S EDGE tackles the difficult subj
...more
Caroline
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery
If one didn't know better, one would assume from reading Fossum's crime mysteries, that murderers and paedophiles run amok in Norway.

A couple, taking their weekly Sunday walk through Linde Forest, are brushed past by a man stumbling through the woods and later discover the body of a 7 year old boy under a tree, clad only in his t-shirt. The couple alert the police and provide a description of the man they saw as well as the car they saw him get into. As Inspector Sejer and Jacob Skarre begin th
...more
Tony
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Fossum. Karin. THE WATER’S EDGE. (Norway-2007; U.S.-2009). ****. A married couple, Reinhardt and Kristine Ris, are taking one of their usual walks through the woods near a lake when they discover the body of a young boy, dead, lying amongst a copse of trees. Almost immediately afterwards, they see an older man with a limp walking away out of the woods. Kristine can remember his face because to her he looked like Hans Christian Andersen. They alert the police, but in the meantime Reinhardt takes ...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Water’s Edge, by Karin Fossum, a-minus, produced by BBC Audio, purchased as compact discs from Audio Editions.

In this book we have a couple out hiking finding the body of a dead little boy. They describe a man they saw leaving the scene as looking like Hans Christian Andersen. The inspector begins his search for what he believes may be a pedaphile. This book is unusual in that while they are searching for the man who killed the boy, they are spending time learning about what things come toge
...more
Evanston Public  Library
As I work my way through a nice long list of Scandinavian crime writers, I'm finding Norway's Karin Fossum's books especially satisfying. Inspector Sejer and his assistant Jakob Skarre (think Inspector Lewis and Sergeant Hathaway) take on the investigation when the body of a eight year old boy is found dumped in the forest near Huseby, a small Norwegian town outside Oslo. The child does not have a mark on him, but his shorts and shoes are missing. A local couple out for a Sunday stroll discovere ...more
Andrew Kunka
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
This is my first Karin Fossum novel, and I found it to be a solid police procedural. The murder of a young boy impacts the lives of several citizens in a small town, most notably the couple who witness the killer leaving the scene. This is not a whodunit: the narrative focus jumps between the couple, the killer, detectives Sejer and Skarre, and others. Instead, we see the course of the investigation as it slowly develops over months. We also don't get much of a look into the detectives' lives, a ...more
 EmmaLee Pryor
Oct 30, 2009 rated it did not like it
This is a terrible book. I don't know if it missed something in the translation, but it spent way too much time trying to rationalize and make the reader feel sympathy for a child molestor! The parts from the molestor's POV are simply grotesque, and the speculations from Skarre are terrible. So what if the molestor feels he can't get help because he is too ashamed! Or they had a bad childhood and so do terrible things to other people! And I don't believe that child molestors are born and "just g ...more
Andrea
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Review:(10/27/2009, 12:44 PM)
One of my barometers for a great book is when I am finished I can’t stop thinking about the story or the characters. Karen Fossum’s “The Water’s Edge” meets that criteria and then some. Wonderfully written she drew me into the story dealing with a delicate subject of a child’s molestation and murder. As a mother I find this a very difficult subject to read about, but Fossum handles it tactfully as the story unfolds into an excellent mystery. One of my favorite aspect
...more
Doug
Sep 20, 2011 added it
MS Fossum uses the mystery format and her characters to discuss or explore topics that in many cases might be off limits. In her discussions she doesn't reach a conclusion but does raise questions. I sometimes think the discussions take away from the story but without the discussions would there be a story.

A married couple going out for a walk see a stranger walking toward a car and then a little while later find the body of a young boy. The boy has been assaulted and soon another young boy goes
...more
Anssi
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karin Fossum has an extraordinary talent for creating realistic crime stories, where solving the actual crime has a very small role compared to the psychology and relationships between people involved. In this one, she examines not only the lives of the criminal and the policemen, but also the victims and witnesses of the crime. I didn't like this one quite as much as some of her earlier books, which usually concentrate on just one or two people at a time, and thus delve deeper into their minds. ...more
Rachel
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: English professor
I've been a big fan of Karin Fossum for a while, and this latest Detective Sejer novel does not disappoint. I've read other reviews that criticize Fossum's perceived sympathetic portrayal of paedophiles, but I disagree - Fossum is breathtakingly realistic, and her brief forays into the mind of a criminal are illuminating and interesting, rather than making excuses for the lowest of sexual deviants.

Worth a read, especially considering how short it is. "The Water's Edge" is brief, heartbreaking,
...more
Kristen
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: myfavoritebooks
This was a very gripping story, wonderfully told. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The only downside was that it left me with too many unanswered questions! I don't want to pose those questions here, but if anyone else has read this book and would like to discuss with me...

Overall, The Water's Edge was an excellent book and I'll be looking for more from Karin Fossum to add to my books-to-read list!
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825 followers
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 14 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)
  • Mordet på Harriet Krohn (Konrad Sejer, #7)
  • Bad Intentions (Konrad Sejer, #9)
  • The Caller (Konrad Sejer, #10)
  • The Drowned Boy (Konrad Sejer, #11)