Sunday, December 1, 2013

EVA'S EYE by Karin Fossum

Karin Fossum writes Eva's Eye in a gentle, violent way.

Eva Magnus and her overweight daughter find a man's body washed up on the bank of the Oslo river. Eva tries not to report the body. Her child insists. But Eva fakes the call.

From the beginning, we guess Eva recognizes the murdered man. More than that, she knows the other woman whose murder Inspector Konrad Sejer is investigating. Somehow, the two connect.

Fossum fills this book with gentleness and tragedy. Inspector Sejer befriends the son of the murdered man. He takes the boy for a ride in a police car. He even buys the boy a mechanic's overalls like his father had.

Sijer probes the source of Eva's unexpected wealth. He questions her father who is totally outside what really happened.

Even when he interrogates a suspect, Sejer asks questions gently but relentlessly. He always listens carefully. He is truly hurt when it is clear the story is going in a terrible direction.

I thought Fossum had a beautiful conception of Sejer's character. Sejer is one of the most unusual main characters I've come across. But there is something different about this book.

Close to two-thirds through, we go from Sejer's point of view to, primarily, Eva's point of view. We have a long section where we don't even see the Inspector except as as peripheral character. He only comes back in at the close.

I found this approach different. Just as I connected to Sejer, I was somewhere else. And the somewhere wasn't pleasant. It was incredibly sad.

Even though we know basically what is happening, Fossum surprises me at the end.

What a tragic story! I thought Eva's Eye was well worth reading.

“I wonder what it is, what it means. Why some people overstep [ethical boundaries], and others could never dream of doing so.”

"Everyone can,” Eva said. “It's circumstances which dictate. And they don't step over either—they stray over. They don't see it until they're on the other side, and then it's too late.”


pattinase (abbott) said...

This looks great. I love her books but haven't read that many.

Joe Barone said...

I thought it was a good book. I liked the main character and found him different.