When the Devil Holds the Candle (Konrad Sejer, #4) When the Devil Holds the Candle discussion


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Is this really a mystery? (Spoilers!)

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message 1: by Carolyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Carolyn Having finished this book, I find it very different from most mysteries in that the police never really solve the central crime. In most mysteries, we have the satisfaction of seeing the police solve the case, but in this book, Sejer and his crew's investigation doesn't really get them anywhere, or at the most they have only just started to grasp the situation when it suddenly becomes too late to matter. They only put the pieces together once Andreas and Irma are both dead, and so their efforts to investigate Andreas' disappearance don't really amount to anything at all as far as I can tell, and if Irma's house didn't happen to catch fire because of the coffee maker it may have been even longer before they began to understand what had happened. In a way I found this unsatisfying, but I guess on some level I also found it refreshing, that it doesn't really follow any of the conventions we expect of a mystery novel.

I like the character of Skarre quite a bit, but I also found his police work in this book frustratingly shoddy. I guess the reader should be frustrated by knowing that Andreas is alive in Irma's basement and that Skarre lets so much time pass without doing anything, but it just seems to me that when Irma comes to him and basically says that she knows where he is, he really should have taken this more seriously.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts about these or any other aspects of this book, I'd like to hear them!


laura m I like that the author plays with timed aspects, if something took shorter time for others to realise, all would have ended differently.
Zipp should have reacted more promptly, Skarre as well, even Sejer should have realised at the first sight how deranged Irma was although it was already too late.
Zipp was a very bad liar and I wish he would have been pressed more to reveal all he knew. Although, it was late for Andreas, still alive but most probably totally crippled for lifetime...


message 3: by Betonce (last edited Aug 12, 2013 08:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Betonce stein this is Karen Fossum's style, and the style of many Scandinavian writers. it is more about the unfolding of the plot, than police procedural. i love this style. i am very fond of Scandinavian crime novels


Gary Van Cott I didn't care for this book much or the author's work in general. I don't really like books with young and/or innocent victims which seems to be this author's specialty. Also, at least in the books that have been translated into English, there is very little development of the main police characters, especially Sejer.


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