A gruesome tableau awaits Inspector Konrad Sejer: a woman and a young boy lay dead in a pool of blood near a dank camper. There is no sign of robbery or assault. Who would brutally stab a defenseless woman and her child? Sejer and his fellow investigator Jakob Skarre begin a hunt for the killer that will eventually lead them to a heartbreaking conclusion.In a parallel storyline, masterfully fused, Fossum tells the story of Mass Malthe and her troubled son Eddie as they navigate a relationship that some would call too close. Eddie constantly thinks about his unknown father --- someone his mother would rather forget. When long-held secrets are revealed, it turns out that Mass and Bonnie share more in common than Eddie could have ever guessed.
On a wet night in November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn’s apartment. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to winning his daughter’s forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman’s antique silver collection. The following morning Harriet is found dead, her silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer finds is an abandoned bouquet.
Carmen and Nicolai failed to resuscitate their son, Tommy, after finding him floating in their backyard pond. When Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, Carmen reports that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down’s syndrome, wandered into the garden while Nicolai was working in the basement and she was cleaning the house. Skarre senses something is off with Carmen’s story and consults his trusted colleague, the famed Inspector Sejer. An autopsy reveals Tommy’s lungs to be full of soap.
Riktor doesn’t like the way the policeman storms into his home without even knocking. He knows he’s guilty of a terrible crime and is sure the policeman has found him out. But when the policeman finally does confront him, Riktor freezes. The man is arresting him for something totally unexpected. Riktor doesn’t have a clear conscience, but the crime he’s being accused of is one he certainly didn’t commit. Can he clear his name without further incriminating himself?
In this first novel of the Inspector Sejer mystery series --- available for the first time in English --- Eva and her young daughter, Emma, are walking by the river when Emma spots something floating in the water. It's the body of a man, and what's more, a man Eva recognizes. Inspectors Sejer and Skarre piece together the stories behind two unsolved murders. Does it all lead back to Eva?
Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to try to figure out who was responsible for carrying out a sinister prank on a young couple. Later that night, he hears a knock at the door and receives a note that has him worried about what is to come. The postcard in question bears a short message: Hell begins now.