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The New York Times Book Review
They never last very long, those anonymous joggers and dog-walkers whose only purpose in a crime story I to trip over the body in the woods. Unless, of course, they figure in a novel by Karin Fossum, who makes it her business - and the business of her uncommonly sensitive Norwegian detective, Inspector Konrad Sejer - to scrutinize in great depth and detail every person touched by a murder. In The Water''s Edge (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25), Kristine and Reinhardt Ris discover the abused corpse of 7-year-old Jonas August Lowe when they''re out walking in the woods. Being a kind and gentle person, Kristine is appalled. But her bullying husband is so fascinated by the savage crime that he intrudes on the police investigation, revealing his own secret urges and destroying his marriage. And they aren''t even the central characters.
Fossum takes an insightful, mostly sympathetic view of everyone in the novel, including a disarming sex offender who does his best to help the police understand the mind of a pedophile - helpful advice when a second boy goes missing. And while this happens to be an exceptionally fine story, Fossum''s real narrative appeal, readily apparent in Charlotte Barslund''s translation, rests on her ability to see the humanity in even the most wretched soul.
— Marilyn Stasio