The Whisperer

The Whisperer

by Karin Fossum

Overview:How did a lonely, quiet woman come to kill a man—or did she?

Ragna Riegel is a soft-spoken woman of routines. She must have order in her life, and she does, until one day she finds a letter in her mailbox with her name on the envelope and a clear threat written in block capitals on the sheet inside. With the arrival of the letter, and eventually others like it, Ragna’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel into a nightmare—threatened by an unknown enemy, paranoid and unable to sleep, her isolation becomes all the more extreme. Ragna’s distress does culminate in a death, but she is the perpetrator rather than the victim.

The Whisperer shifts between Inspector Sejer’s interrogation of Ragna and the shocking events that led up to her arrest. Sejer thinks it is an open-and-shut case, but is it? Compelling and unnerving, The Whisperer probes plausible madness in everyday life and asks us to question assumptions even in its final moments..

Carole Zwicker (09/06/19): The Whisperer by "Norwegian Queen of Crime" Karin Fossum is a Scandinavian mystery where the crime is only divulged towards the end of the book. This is the thirteenth Inspector Sejer novel but this title reads well as a standalone. The book alternates between Ragna Riegel's daily life and the later interrogation of Ragna by Inspector Sejer about the crime she committed. Ragna, a middle-aged single mother, has a precise life. She lives alone, after her teenage son moved to Berlin. She lives in the home she grew up in, previously with her parents. She works in a store, commutes by bus where she always sits in the same seat and shops for her supper in the same shop every day. One day, she finds a threatening anonymous note in her mailbox, leading her to believe her life is in danger. Over time, more notes appear and Ragna's fear grows. Meanwhile, every other chapter has Inspector Sejer interviewing Ragna. The reader is kept in the dark as to why Ragna is being detained by the police and what crime she committed. This Scandinavian mystery is typically very dark but you will need to find out the hows and whys of this woman's life, no matter what.. Highly recommended.
Rating: ****

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