Broken by Karin Fossum is a
highly inventive mystery. If you enjoy
reading something a bit different, it should intrigue you. A lone woman looks out her window in the
night, she sees people standing outside her house, an old man, a woman
clutching a baby, and many others, all standing and waiting. “They are patient, their heads are bowed,
they are waiting for their stories to be told, and it is I who will tell them –
I am the author.” This time things are
different, when the woman goes to bed, she hears the sound of someone breaking
into her house. She lies paralyzed by fear in the quiet of her bedroom. Up the
stairs comes one of the men she watched standing outside, he has jumped the
queue, desperately eager for his story to be told. As the author creates a world for her
character, he becomes more and more real to the reader. Chapters are interspersed where the
character, Alvar Eade, and author converse.
Alvar, is a good man, pleased with his career in an art gallery and his
apartment within easy walking distance of the town. Perhaps he has not fully understood the
import of the type of fiction our author writes, for she is an author of crime
novels and something upsetting is sure to come his way. Karin Fossum is an
award winning Norwegian author; this is a lively, interesting step outside her
popular Inspector Konrad Sejer 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 the icy winter morning 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. Broken is an unconventional, subtle, and disturbing mystery from a master of the form.
About the Author
KARIN FOSSUM is the author of the internationally successful Inspector Konrad Sejer crime series. Her recent honors include a Gumshoe Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mystery/thriller. She lives in Norway.