Eva’s Eye by Karin Fossum, translated by James Anderson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
Originally published as Evas øye, 1995
Inspector Sejer, book 2
I bought my copy of the book.
I backtracked in my reading of the Inspector Sejer series to read the first installment, Eva’s Eye, also published as In the Darkness, and I really liked it. The book begins with two unsolved crimes: a stabbed man’s body is found in the river, and it is determined that it’s the body of Egil, a man missing for six months. He disappeared around the time that a prostitute named Maja was murdered, and Sejer investigates these semi-cold crimes for the first third of the book. Then Fossum shifts to Eva Magnus, a struggling artist and single mother who was one of the last people to see the murdered Maja alive and was the person who discovered Egil’s corpse.
I appreciate that Sejer is not as troubled or depressed as lots of other detectives in books I read, though his penchant for working alone is pretty typical. I’m not sure I’ve ever read about such an experienced skydiver, though: over 2000 successful jumps is quite impressive.
Fossum has a great deal of sympathy for Eva, and she also knows how to write creepy and thrilling setpieces. Or maybe I’m especially susceptible to scenes that happen in remote mountain cabins at night: they automatically frighten me. This book felt juicy in terms of characters and the slide into criminality: there’s much to discuss. Finally, I liked the way Fossum talked about Eva’s artistic process more than I like Louise Penny in the Three Pines series. I could picture Eva’s paintings more vividly than I could Penny’s character’s works.