Friday, November 20, 2020

Eva's Eye by Karin Fossum

Eva and her daughter discover the body of a man washed ashore. Eva says she's going to call the police, but calls her father instead. She never mentions the dead man. 

Rather, it's another witness who reports the body. And Inspector Konrad Sejer is assigned the case. 

The dead man is no stranger to Sejer. In fact, he'd been reported missing months ago. And it's not the only case that's been nagging at Sejer either. A prostitute was murdered just a few weeks before the man went missing. And the one thing both cases turn out to have in common: Eva. 

Fair warning, there's going to be a lot more Nordic Noir to come! As I mentioned in my post on social distancing, the genre has been largely responsible for getting me through some pretty gnarly reading ruts this year. And there's been a ton of new releases this year alone. Which is why when I learned that there were two separate Nordic Noir readathons going on through November, I hopped into both with a fervor bordering on a reading obsession!

Eva's Eye is the first book in Fossum's Konrad Sejer series, which now includes a total of 15 titles (only 13 of which are currently available here). 

Sejer is our narrator for only about half the book. The other half is told from Eva's perspective, which is interesting but a strange way to set up a series featuring Sejer as the protagonist, in my opinion. As a stand alone, however, it is an interesting choice. 

Sejer is haunted by two unsolved cases. That of a dead brewery worker and another that involves the murder of a prostitute. 

Eva, as we soon learn, knows them both. 

The dead prostitute was Eva's childhood friend. They ran into each other serendipitously one afternoon while Eva, in desperate need of funds, is attempting to return an item for cash at a store. Sejer learns all of this when he questions Eva after the body is discovered. But it's Eva's part of the story that reveals more. 

I liked both Sejer and Eva. Sejer lives alone with his dog and skydives in his spare time. He has a grandson he loves dearly and shows tenderness to witnesses, like the son of the dead man. Eva, an artist, is struggling to make ends meet. A divorced mom with an elderly father, both of whom she provides for as best as she can. She's desperate when she runs into her long lost friend. A little less so when she crosses paths with Sejer.  

Again, this one reads a bit odd as the kick off to a series. But I did enjoy the story and am planning to read further. Fossum's latest release here, last year's The Whisperer, is one I've heard very good things about. I have a hard time bringing myself to starting a series at the end, however!

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

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