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Fossum, Karin - 'He Who Fears The Wolf' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by David Rintoul (translated by Felicity David)
Audio Cassette (2005) Publisher: BBC Audiobooks ISBN: 9781405600019

HE WHO FEARS THE WOLF is the third book in the Inspector Konrad Sejer series and the second to be translated into English. Sejer and his team are called in to investigate the murder of an elderly widow in a small village. The boy who found the body reported seeing a local man, Errki Johrma, who had recently escaped from a mental hospital, lurking near the woman's house. Everyone fears Errki as bad things seem to happen around him and he is believed to have pushed his mother down the stairs when he was young.

Sejer soon has another case - to find the chap who robbed a bank and took a hostage. Both cases collide when the hostage turns out to be Errki.

Unlike the previous book, DON'T LOOK BACK, which was more a straight police procedural, HE WHO FEARS THE WOLF focuses more on Errki than Sejer. Errki bonds with his kidnapper more than he has with any psychologist and slowly the story is revealed as to the significance of the voices and images Errki sees and what caused, in part at least, Errki's mental health issues. Errki changes from someone to be afraid of to someone you feel deeply sorry for.

Sejer undergoes a small transformation himself, as he becomes open to the possibility of a woman in his life again after being a widower for a long time.

An air of tragedy hangs over the ending as several lives have been ruined either through fate, accident or greed.

Karin Fossum has been compared to Ruth Rendell and she is certainly a writer to be reckoned with. Clear prose, stories peopled with characters you get to know and care about and whodunits that keep you guessing, make her books a must read.

David Rintoul's narration is superb, covering the range of sane and crisp Sejer to the agitated kidnapper and disturbed Errki. He has also narrated DON'T LOOK BACK and WHEN THE DEVIL HOLDS THE CANDLE.

Karen Meek, England
February 2007

last updated 22/03/2008 15:01