Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasn't spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weekly--although she's sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mother's worst nightmare in either case--to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. As Ida's relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But he's puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case he's seen in years.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Publish Date:||Jun 2008|
|Number of Pages:||266|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||2.0|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.44 x 1.02 x 9.11|
A parent's worst fears are realized in this absorbing psychological study, the fifth of the Inspector Konrad Sejer series (after The Indian Bride) to be translated into English. Just days short of her tenth birthday, Ida Joner--a particularly lovely only child--takes off on her bicycle and doesn't come home. As residents of her small Swedish town search for Ida, Sejer sifts through possibilities. The woman who runs the shop that was Ida's destination has a suspicious background, Ida's 18-year-old cousin Tomme Rix is overly emotional about crashing his prized secondhand Opel on the day Ida disappeared, and 52-year-old autistic man Emil Johannes is found to have connections to Ida.
Sejer seeks the truth through dogged police work (including reading letters between Ida and her German pen pal), keen intuition, and a brilliant means of communicating with Emil. Fossum's superb characterizations include three mothers: divorced Helga Joner, who lives in fear of losing her daughter; her sister Ruth Rix, who foresees damage to her family; and Emil's widowed mother, Elsa, who protects and provides for her disabled son. Even a predictable outcome does nothing to lessen this novel's effect. With appeal to fans of Barbara Vine and Minette Walters, this is recommended for most collections.
-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA
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