Monday, June 15, 2015

The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum

When the Inspector gets a call about a dead body, he's surprised to hear it's a 16 month old child.  The boy has drowned.  That much is a given but was it an accident or murder?

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  This book will be published August 25th.  

If you haven't read the earlier books in this series, you should.  These stories are set in Norway and the author describes the areas well enough you feel as though you had a visit.  There are always twists in her stories, too.  I like her writing style.

In this case, the boy was found in the pond.  It appears he left the house unsupervised and headed for the water.  He apparently fell off the jetty and drowned.  But the mother is acting strangely.  She's 19, pretty, and cries a lot but doesn't really seem to be grieving.  The father, on the other hand, is destroyed by his son's death.  He feels guilty because he was working in the cellar fixing a bicycle and didn't even know the boy had wandered.

The case changes when they find soap in the boy's lungs.  The mother's story changes again.  She was bathing the child in a bubble bath when she had an epileptic fit and lost consciousness.  When she awakened, the child had drowned.

The boy had Down syndrome.  It didn't bother the father, but it bothered the mother.  She didn't like the questions people asked her and she felt it made her defective.  As I read the story, I was sure that was why the boy died.  When the father sees how little the loss of the boy affected her, he loses hope in life.

This is a sad tale about a soulless woman who has no conscience and cares only about herself.  I really like the twist at the end that gives the Inspector what he needs to conclude the case.  Her ego comes back to haunt her.

I'll be watching for another by Ms. Fossum.  She writes good mysteries.

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