The Murder of Harriet Krohn
Fossum is a recent discovery of mine, I had never heard of her before this year. I happened to come across one of her books on the Lancashire library website, and decided that I would go to see if it was in Heysham library my go to place for books, and a bit of quiet inspiration when writing my novel.
Anyway I was in luck, because there was a copy. It had been the blurb on the website which first sparked my interest, which went as follows
Charles Olav Torp has problems. He’s grieving for his late wife, he’s lost his job, and gambling debts have alienated him from his teenage daughter. Desperate, his solution is to rob an elderly woman of her money and silverware. But Harriet Krohn fights back, and Charlo loses control. Wracked with guilt, Charlo attempts to rebuild his life and regain his dignity. But the police are catching up with him, and Inspector Konrad Sejer has never lost a case yet. 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 afterwards?
Within a few pages I was hooked, Fossum alternates between the motivations of the murderer, and the motivations of the inspector. She gives a insight into the workings of the killer’s mind, and offers a rounded picture of Torp, as the horrendous act is purported to happen because the murderer is trying to create a better life for his daughter. He is not painted as someone without a conscience, which can happen in the hands of less adept crime writers, the relationship between him and his daughter giving Torp a realism which I really appreciated.
Her skill is such that, despite myself I felt a twinge of sympathy for Torp at the end of the book. I think it was by and large, the way that the connection between him and his daughter was painted, his frantic and well meaning attempts to correct the sins of the past, leading him to make a even greater mistake.
My advice is, if you enjoy crime stories, or even just well crafted fiction in general, give this one a try.