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Karin Fossum books in order

Karin Fossum is a Norwegian internationally acclaimed, award-winning author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction books.

Born in Sandefjord, Vestfold, Norway, she first announced her debut into the literary world with a collection of poetry which was published in 1974 at the age of 20.

Prior to becoming a successful author, Karin worked in hospitals, nursing homes and provided assistance in the rehabilitation process for individuals recovering from substance abuse.

Best known for writing the Inspector Sejer crime series, Karin’s books have been translated into 25 languages, selling multiple copies across the globe.

She has also been feted with numerous awards, including the Glass Key award and the Riverton Prize for her work in Don't Look Back - Se Deg Ikke Tilbake! (2002), which also received a film adaptation titled The Girl by the Lake.

Dubbed the "Norwegian queen of crime" by her fans, Karin currently lives in a tiny town in the south east of Norway.

More about Karin Fossum

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1954


Non Series

  • Broken - Brudd (2006)
  • I Can See in the Dark - Jeg kan se i mørket (2013)

Inspector Sejer

  1. Eva's Eye - Evas öga (2012)
  2. Don't Look Back - Se Deg Ikke Tilbake! (2002)
  3. He Who Fears the Wolf - Den som frykter ulven (2003)
  4. When the Devil Holds the Candle - Djevelen holder lyset (2004)
  5. The Indian Bride - Elskede Poona (2005)
  6. Black Seconds - Svarte Sekunder (2007)
  7. The Murder of Harriet Krohn - Drapet på Harriet Krohn (2014)
  8. The Water's Edge - Den som elsker noe annet (2009)
  9. Bad Intentions - Den onde viljen (2010)
  10. The Caller - Varsleren (2011)
  11. The Drowned Boy (2015)
  12. Hell Fire - Helvetesilden (2016)
  13. The Whisperer - Hviskeren (2018)

Detailed book overview

Non Series


A woman wakes up in the middle of the night. A strange man is in her bedroom. She lies there in silence, paralyzed with fear. The woman is an author and the man one of her characters, one in a long line that waits in her driveway for the time when she'll tell their stories. He is so desperate that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin. He, the author decides, is named Alvar Eide, forty-two years old, single, works in a gallery. He lives a quiet, orderly life and likes it that way—no demands, no unpleasantness. Until one icy winter day when a young drug addict, skinny and fragile, walks into the gallery. Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up. And then one day she appears on his doorstep.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Brudd
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0547520360
Publisher: HarperVia
I Can See in the Dark

Riktor doesn't like the way the policeman comes straight into the house without knocking. He doesn't like the arrogant way he observes his home. The policeman doesn't tell him why he's there, and Riktor doesn't ask. Because he knows he's guilty.

But it turns out that the policeman isn't looking for a missing person. He is accusing Riktor of something totally unexpected. Riktor doesn't have a clear conscience, but this is a crime he certainly didn't commit.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Jeg kan se i mørket
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0544483989
Publisher: HarperVia

Inspector Sejer

Eva's Eye

Eva Magnus and her daughter are out walking by the river when they make a grisly discovery: a man’s body floating on the water’s surface. Eva goes to call the police, but when she reaches the phone, she dials another number altogether for her own reasons. But when the police find the body anyway, Inspector Sejer and his team quickly determine that the man, Egil, died from a violent attack.

But Egil himself had been missing for months, and the trail to his killer is all but vanished. It’s just as puzzling as another unsolved case on Sejer’s desk: the murder of a prostitute, found dead just before Egil went missing. And as Sejer tries to piece together these two impossible cases, it soon appears that the two murders are connected. And if the Inspector can’t figure out the culprit behind the crimes, someone else is going to pay with their life.

NB: This book is also known as In the Darkness.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Evas öga
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0544227811
Publisher: HarperVia
Don't Look Back

At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquility is shattered forever.

Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect façade.

The Girl by the Lake
Director: Andrea Molaioli
Cast: Toni Servillo, Denis Fasolo, Nello Mascia, Giulia Michelini, Marco Baliani, Fausto Maria Sciarappa, Franco Ravera, Sara D'Amario, Heidi Caldart, Alessia Piovan, Nicole Perrone, Anna Bonaiuto
Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Se Deg Ikke Tilbake!
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0156031363
Publisher: HarperVia
He Who Fears the Wolf

Inspector Sejer is hard at work again, investigating the murder of a woman who lived alone in the middle of the woods. The chief suspect is another loner, a schizophrenic recently escaped from a mental institution. The only witness is a twelve-year-old boy, overweight, obsessed with archery, and a resident at a home for delinquents. When a demented man robs a nearby bank and accidentally takes the suspect hostage, the three misfits are drawn into an uneasy alliance.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Den som frykter ulven
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0156030496
Publisher: HarperVia
When the Devil Holds the Candle

When two teenagers steal a purse from a stroller, it results in an infant’s death. Unaware of the enormity of their crime, Zipp and Andreas are intent on committing another. They follow an elderly woman home, and Andreas enters her house with his switchblade. In the dark, Zipp waits for his friend to come out.

Inspector Konrad Sejer and his colleague Jacob Skarre see no connection between the infant’s death and the reported disappearance of a local delinquent. And so while the confusion outside mounts, the heart-stopping truth unfolds inside the old woman’s home.

Unflappable as ever, Sejer digs below the surface of small- town tranquility in an effort to understand how and why violence destroys everyday lives.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Djevelen holder lyset
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0156032124
Publisher: Mariner Books
The Indian Bride

When long-time bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the town of Elvestad is stunned. Then, on the day his bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found on the outskirts of town. The "good people of Elvestad" can’t believe that anyone among them could be capable of such a crime. But in his quiet way, Inspector Konrad Sejer understands that no one is completely innocent—not the café owner who knows too much, the girl who wants the attention that comes with being a witness, or the bodybuilder with no outlet for his terrible strength.

NB: This book is also known as Calling Out For You.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Elskede Poona
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0156033367
Publisher: Harcourt
Black Seconds

Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Ida’s friends—anyone who could have seen her. But no one has.

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.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Svarte Sekunder
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0156034043
Publisher: Mariner Books
The Murder of Harriet Krohn

Charlo Torp, a newly recovered gambler, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn’s apartment, flowers in hand. Determined to pay off his debts, Charlo plans to steal the old woman’s antique silver collection. But he didn’t expect her to put up a fight. The following morning, Inspector Sejer is called to the scene to investigate. Harriet is dead, her silver missing, and the only clue in the apartment is an abandoned bouquet. When Charlo sees the news, he knows he should be relieved, but he’s heard of Sejer’s amazing record — the detective has solved every case he’s ever been assigned to.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Drapet på Harriet Krohn
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0544570191
Publisher: HarperVia
The Water's Edge

A married couple, Reinhardt and Kristine Ris, are out for a Sunday walk when they discover the body of a boy and see the figure of a man limping away. They alert the police, but not before Reinhardt, to Kristine’s horror, kneels down and takes photographs of the dead child with his cell phone. 

Inspectors Konrad Sejer and Jakob Skarre begin to make inquiries in the little town of Solberglia. But then another boy disappears, and an explanation seems more remote than ever. Meanwhile, the Ris’s marriage starts to unravel as Reinhardt becomes obsessed with the tragic events and his own part in them.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Den som elsker noe annet
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0547336114
Publisher: Mariner Books
Bad Intentions

Early one September three friends spend the weekend at a remote cabin by Dead Water Lake. With only a pale moon to light their way, they row across the water in the middle of the night. But only two of them return, and they make a pact not to call for help until the following morning.

Inspector Sejer leads the investigation when the body is discovered. He is troubled by the apparent suicide and has an overwhelming sense that the surviving pair has something to hide. Weeks pass without further clues, and then in a nearby lake the body of a teenage boy floats to the surface.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Den onde viljen
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0547737416
Publisher: Vintage Books
The Caller

One mild summer evening, a young couple are enjoying dinner while their daughter sleeps peacefully in her stroller under a tree. When her mother steps outside she is stunned: the child is covered in blood.

Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully, the child is unharmed, but the parents are deeply shaken, and Sejer spends the evening trying to understand why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell.

No one is at the door, but the caller has left a small gray envelope on Sejer’s mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: Hell begins now.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Varsleren
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0544002180
Publisher: HarperVia
The Drowned Boy

Carmen and Nicolai found their son, Tommy, floating in their garden pond, but it was too late to save him. Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, and Carmen says that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down syndrome, was playing alone and drowned. But an autopsy reveals that Tommy’s lungs are full of soap, prompting Skarre and his trusted colleague Inspector Sejer to revisit the couple. 

When they return, Carmen, an epileptic, changes her story: she had a seizure while bathing Tommy, came to, and found him dead in the tub. Terrified, she threw him into the pond. But Skarre and Sejer are skeptical. What could Carmen be hiding? And what lengths will she take to cover her guilt?

Author: Karin Fossum
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0544704848
Publisher: HarperVia
Hell Fire

A gruesome tableau awaits Inspector Konrad Sejer in the oppressive summer heat: a woman and a young boy lay dead in a pool of blood near a dank trailer. The motivation behind the deaths of Bonnie Hayden and her five-year-old son, Simon, is mysterious—there is no sign of robbery. Who would brutally stab a defenseless woman and her child? 

In a parallel story, another mother, Mass Malthe, navigates life with her adult son, Eddie. It’s a relationship some would call too close, since Eddie’s father, a man he obsesses over, abandoned them many years ago. As Sejer searches for the truth behind the seemingly senseless killings, Hell Fire deftly probes why we lie to those closest to us, and what drives people to commit the most horrific of crimes.

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Helvetesilden
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0544944398
Publisher: HarperVia
The Whisperer

Ragna Riegel is a woman of routines. She sits in the same seat on the bus every day on her way to her predictable job at a supermarket. On her way back to the house she has always lived in, she visits the same local shop. She feels safe, until one day she receives a letter with a threatening message scrawled in capital letters. 

Ragna’s carefully constructed life beings to unravel into a nightmare. Isolated and threatened by an unknown enemy, she must use all her means to defend herself. When the worst happens, Inspector Konrad Sejer is called in to interrogate Ragna. Is this unassuming woman out of her depth, or is she hiding a dark secret?

Author: Karin Fossum
Original Title: Hviskeren
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0358299608
Publisher: HarperVia