The Caller by Karin Fossum

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The Caller by Karin Fossum

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's not a thriller but an exploration of the disturbed mind of an abused and neglected teenager. Highly readable.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: July 2012
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 978-0099548775

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Lily's baby daughter was asleep in the garden when her husband came home and it was so peaceful that they allowed her to sleep on a little longer, but when they went to bring her in she was covered in blood. It seemed to be coming from her mouth - but when they got her to hospital there was no injury and it was apparently a practical joke. But that evening a message was left on Inspector Konrad Sejer's mat: Hell begins now. It was the first in a series of such incidents. They weren't planned to cause physical harm but they left the victims shaken, feeling harassed and worried.

We know who is behind the pranks from very early on. His name is Johnny Beskow and he's in his late teens. He lives with his mother who has a close relationship with a vodka bottle, but he does have a strong relationship with his grandfather whom he visits on a regular basis. And this is where you see Fossum's skill. You're going to do the unthinkable: you're going to sympathise with Johnny Beskow, understand why he does what he does and wish that there could be a better life for him. It doesn't lessen your concern for his victims, but you're going to empathise with both sides of the story.

Then, of course, something happens to Johnny - something cruel, violent and purposely directed at him and he is pushed over an invisible edge where everything is different. And then it spirals out of control.

It's a great exploration of the human mind, an attempt to understand motives and the effects on victims who are not physically harmed. If you're wanting a thriller then this is really not the book for you, but if you enjoy a book which draws you in - exploits your feelings and then simply refuses to let you go until the final page then you'll enjoy this book. And there are a couple of twists at the end of the book which simply took my breath away.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you'll almost certainly enjoy The Saint Zita Society by Ruth Rendell.

Buy The Caller by Karin Fossum at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Caller by Karin Fossum at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Caller by Karin Fossum at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Caller by Karin Fossum at Amazon.com.


Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels in chronological order

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