Cover image for The murder of Harriet Krohn
Title:
The murder of Harriet Krohn
Author:
Fossum, Karin, 1954- author.
Uniform Title:
Drapet på Harriet Krohn. English
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
Physical Description:
242 pages ; 24 cm.
Summary:
"Available for the first time in English, the seventh entry in the beloved Inspector Sejer series from Norway's Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum. On a wet, gray night in early November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler who's only recently kicked the habit, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn's apartment, flowers in hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter's forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman's antique silver collection. What he doesn't expect is for her to put up a fight. The following morning Harriet is found dead, her antique silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer and his team find in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. Charlo should feel relieved, but he's heard of Sejer's amazing record -- the detective has solved every case he's ever been assigned to. Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterward?"--

"On a wet, gray night in early November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler who's only recently kicked the habit, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn's apartment, flowers in his hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter Julie's forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman's antique silver collection. What he doesn't expect is for her to put up a fight. The following morning Harriet is found dead, her antique silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer and his team find in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. Charlo should feel relieved, but he's heard of Sejer's amazing record--the detective has solved every case he's ever been assigned to. Sure that Sejer is inching steadily closer to the truth, Charlo does everything he can think of to keep from getting caught as he desperately tries to reconcile with Julie in this thrilling new addition to an acclaimed series."--
General Note:
"First published with the title Drapet på Harriet Krohn Harriet Krohn in 2004 by Cappelen Damm AS, Oslo"--Title pages verso.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544273399
Format :
Book

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Clearfield Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Hamburg Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Kenmore Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Orchard Park Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Julia Boyer Reinstein Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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Summary

Summary

Available for the first time in English, the seventh entry in the beloved Inspector Sejer series from Norway's Queen of Crime, Karin Fossum

On a wet, gray night in early November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler who's only recently kicked the habit, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn's apartment, flowers in hand. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to starting a new life and winning his daughter's forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman's antique silver collection. What he doesn't expect is for her to put up a fight.

The following morning Harriet is found dead, her antique silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer and his team find in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. Charlo should feel relieved, but he's heard of Sejer's amazing record -- the detective has solved every case he's ever been assigned to.

Told through the eyes of a killer, The Murder of Harriet Krohn poses the question: how far would you go to turn your life around, and could you live with yourself afterward?


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the seventh Konrad Sejer story, Fossum's pitch-perfect dialogue (internal and otherwise) sets the tense, desperate tone of this introverted, psychological cat-and-mouse tale. Gambling addict Charlo Torp is proudly shoving his past behind him. He's paid off the enormous gambling debt he owed a dangerous friend, found a part-time job, and even bought a horse to win back his equestrian daughter's affection. There is just the small matter of Harriet Krohn, whom Charlo murdered during the robbery that netted the cash for his new life. Within days of the attack, media coverage of the brutal crime is unavoidable, and Charlo learns that formidable Inspector Konrad Sejer is hunting him. Convinced that he can burrow into his new life and escape notice, Charlo denies the fallout of his crime even as fear and paranoia begin to creep in behind his facade. Fossum's modern take on The Tell-Tale Heart will please the large, ever-expanding base of Sejer fans, who will be enthralled with following the investigation from the prey's angle.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Fossum's superior seventh Insp. Konrad Sejer novel, the 10th book in the series to be released in the U.S. (after 2013's Eva's Eye), puts a modern spin on Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Widower Charlo Olav Torp's robbery and murder of elderly Harriet Krohn allows him to pay off his debts and reconnect with his estranged 16-year-old daughter, Julie. He even buys Julie the horse she has always wanted. But this fresh start comes with a price. His every moment is clouded by guilt over his actions and the fear that he'll be caught, but he's also proud that he's committed the perfect murder. Months go by until Sejer, who has never had an unsolved case, targets Charlo by building on the one small piece of forgotten evidence at the crime scene. Series fans and newcomers alike will savor this insightful character study of a man on the edge with little regard to how his actions affect others. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Charlo Torp doesn't mean to kill anyone. A widower desperate to pay off gambling debts, he intends to enter Harriet Krohn's house under the pretense of a flower delivery and steal the elderly woman's valuables. But Harriet resists, Charlo panics, and she ends up bludgeoned to death in her kitchen. With the whodunit thus settled two dozen pages in, Fossum trains her focus on the "why" of the crime, examining Charlo's guilt and how he justifies his actions to himself, especially after the stolen money helps him repair his relationship with an estranged daughter. Still, he constantly looks over his shoulder, and with good reason-the policeman investigating Harriet's death, Insp. Konrad Sejer, has never failed to solve a murder. VERDICT Writing from the killer's perspective, Fossum sketches a credible if unsuspenseful portrait of how normal people commit violent acts. This is the seventh book in the "Sejer" series (The Water's Edge; Bad Intentions; The Caller) but one of the last to be translated into English, quite possibly because the detective doesn't appear until well past the halfway mark. That's too bad, because his scenes crackle with energy that's lacking in the rest of the book. For readers who enjoy psychological suspense and who don't mind crime novels minus the mystery.-Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Dearest Julie, Do you read my letters? I hope so, but I don't make any demands. I stay in the background. I've nothing to offer you and I know why you feel bitter. But I'm writing anyway -- I am your father, after all. Writing has become a consolation. I find it soothing. You know how things stand, how I'm placed. Everyone's after me because I'm in debt, and I feel like a hunted deer. I've no real friends anymore, only lukewarm acquaintances. Do you remember Bjørnar Lind? He was my best friend. We'd known each other since we were boys, and now he won't have anything to do with me. I owe him two hundred thousand kroner, and I don't know where I'm going to find that sort of money. I'm worried he'll put people on to me, worried about what they'll do if I can't pay. There are rumors that he's hiring someone to come after me. And you know what they do to people? They cut off their fingers with pruning shears. I feel ill just thinking about it. Daily life is difficult. The dole isn't enough for necessities -- it's impossible to keep up with bills and repayments. If only there was light at the end of the tunnel! It's my fault all this has happened, and you mustn't worry about it. Just look after yourself and be happy. Be young and fit and hopeful! But I am trying to deal with things in my own pathetic way. I have some initiative left even though I'm down on my knees. I've got plans. Dreams. I'm racking my brain frantically to find a solution. It spins and sifts and searches in all directions. When did we last see each another? It was on May 27, do you remember? We argued. I was simply trying to describe how compulsive gambling is. The thrill of it, the addiction. You slammed the car door behind you, and I thought, I'll never see her again. No more chances for me. I drove home to Blomsgate with the feeling that I'd failed at everything. There must be a way out! Is it just that I can't find it? I stare into the future until I can't see anything anymore. I pace to and fro in the house. I chew my lips until they bleed. I often think of your mother with sadness and regret. All the things she had to put up with as a result of my obsession. It was so much easier then, as she took care of us and organized everything. She was a kind of corrective influence. I can't grasp that she's gone. Once a week I visit her grave. It's so sad. Often I just want to fall to the ground, dig right down, lift off the lid, and take her back. Yesterday I bought a plant and placed it in front of her gravestone -- an erica, the one with the mass of reddish-mauve flowers that can deal with almost any conditions, a bit like heather. I tend her grave, you know. I trim and weed and water. Sometimes I look for signs, to see if, perhaps, you've been hanging around there. Have you? Do you stand there crying all alone? I like the idea of acknowledging that death comes to everyone. Perhaps some just fade, sitting there withering away, like my mother. In my worst moments, I've viewed death as a way out. I've still got my father's old revolver. Forgive this candor. You are not responsible for me. I won't live to be very old. I'm so tired already. Just think, your grandmother is seventy-nine. But she just sits there immobile in her chair, only half alive. In a kind of slumber where nothing happens. But her features are still strong, like that prominent chin that you've inherited. As for me, I can't disappear in a doze. Every cell within me vibrates. Blood courses around my body, my fingers quiver. At night I lie in the darkness listening. There are so many creaks and sighs in this old house that I don't get much sleep. Is it them? I think. Has my final hour come? Today, I was at the Job Center, but nobody wants a middle-aged man. And I've no decent references, either. Nothing to show or boast about. Julie! I won't give up, even if I'm driven to drastic measures. I've spent every minute of every day searching for a solution. It all hinges on money I haven't got. Things I can't afford, plans I can't bring to fruition, debts I can't pay. Fear and shame are everywhere -- in the terror of each ring at the doorbell, and in the long hours until sleep arrives, bringing the only solace the day affords. Unless, that is, I dream of ruin. Life can't go on like this. It's sapping my strength too much. This constant fear, this thudding heart. My own miserable face in the mirror and the knowledge that I destroyed everything. Just because of a flaw. A penchant for gambling, chance, and luck. I'm not asking you for forgiveness, only an iota of understanding. I'm on a different course now. Gambling is no longer a pleasure to me. I think I could walk past a fruit machine with my money safe in my pocket. But there's something about those flashing lights, it's a kind of intoxication. Time stands still in front of the machine, and I'm fully alive. I take possession of it, control it, challenge it. The machine greets me with its lights and music, draws me in, tempts me. And I surrender myself to it, float away, begin to dream. This may seem like weakness to you, but it's only half the truth. If you only knew how desperate I am, how far I'm prepared to go for us to be in contact again. I've no one else but you. I feel I've been driven back to my last bastion and I don't know how things will end. I'm friendless, jobless, and childless. No, not childless. I still cling to you, even though you don't need me, don't want me. Maybe you've seen me occasionally, sitting in the Honda outside your school, hidden among the vehicles in the parking lot. I watch you emerge from the building with a crowd of friends, and see you healthy and laughing and fooling around. I see your magnificent red hair, like a cloud around your face. Do I have any place at all in your life? I don't know if I could bear it if you cut me adrift forever. To grow old alone with no ties to anyone. Of all the misfortunes that can befall us, loneliness is the worst. Not even having someone to weep with in this wretched world. You are the only thing I'm proud of in my life. But you look thin, Julie. Are you eating enough? You must wrap up better. It's winter now. Mom would have said the same if she'd seen you with your neck bare. You always used to listen to her. Do you remember those happy days? When I still had my job at the car showroom. I was a good salesman, capable and reliable, and I remember the satisfaction of concluding each sale. The feeling of success, of being in the swing of things. Returning to you and Mom in the evenings, to the warmth and light. There's no light anymore, so my life is disappearing. While I write, you feel so close. It's as if I'm holding your hand, and I can't bear to let go. Listen to me! Think of me, let me feel that I'm part of your life! Are things all right with your apartment and at school? I dream of making some difference to you, of giving what you want most of all. I don't believe in miracles, but I believe one can change one's own destiny. It's just a matter of willpower and imagination. Of endurance and courage. I also believe it comes at a price. As things stand now, I'd give anything. I've nothing to lose. Dark, fearful days are all that lie before me. Excerpted from The Murder of Harriet Krohn by Karin Fossum All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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