Black Seconds

Paperback | July 29, 2009

byKarin FossumTranslated byCharlotte Barslund

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Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Idas friends, anyone who could have seen her. But no one has. Suspicion immediately falls on Emil Mork, a local character who lives alone and hasnt spoken since childhood. His mother insists on cleaning his house weeklyalthough shes sometimes afraid of what she might find there. A mothers worst nightmare in either case: to lose a child or to think a child capable of murder. As Idas relatives reach the breaking point and the media frenzy surrounding the case begins, Inspector Konrad Sejer is his usual calm and reassuring self. But hes puzzled. And disturbed. This is the strangest case hes seen in years.

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Ida Joner gets on her brand-new bike and sets off toward town. A good-natured, happy girl, she is looking forward to her tenth birthday. Thirty-five minutes after Ida should have come home, her mother starts to worry. She phones store owners, Idas friends, anyone who could have seen her. But no one has. Suspicion immediately falls on E...

KARIN FOSSUM's novels featuring Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant, Jakob Skarre, are international bestsellers. In the United States, she has been awarded the Gumshoe Prize (2007) for When the Devil Holds the Candle and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller (2008) for The Indian Bride. Fossum lives in a small tow...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.75 inPublished:July 29, 2009Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0156034042

ISBN - 13:9780156034043

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CHAPTER 1 The days went by so slowly. Ida Joner held up her hands and counted her fingers. Her birthday was on the tenth of September. And it was only the first today. There were so many things she wanted. Most of all she wanted a pet of her own. Something warm and cuddly that would belong only to her. Ida had a sweet face with large brown eyes. Her body was slender and trim, her hair thick and curly. She was bright and happy. She was just too good to be true. Her mother often thought so, especially whenever Ida left the house and she watched her daughters back disappear around the corner. Too good to last. Ida jumped up on her bicycle, her brand-new Nakamura bicycle. She was going out. The living room was a mess: she had been lying on the sofa playing with her plastic figures and several other toys, and it was chaos when she left. At first her absence would create a great void. After a while a strange mood would creep in through the walls and fill the house with a sense of unease. Her mother hated it. But she could not keep her daughter locked up forever, like some caged bird. She waved to Ida and put on a brave face. Lost herself in domestic chores. The humming of the vacuum cleaner would drown out the strange feeling in the room. When her body began to grow hot and sweaty, or started to ache from beating the rugs, it would numb the faint stabbing sensation in her chest which was always triggered by Ida going out. She glanced out of the window. The bicycle turned left. Ida was going into town. Everything was fine; she was wearing her bicycle helmet. A hard shell that protected her head. Helga thought of it as a type of life insurance. In her pocket she had her zebra-striped purse, which contained thirty kroner about to be spent on the latest issue of Wendy. She usually spent the rest of her money on Bugg chewing gum. The ride down to Lailas Kiosk would take her fifteen minutes. Her mother did the mental arithmetic. Ida would be back home again by 6:40 P.M. Then she factored in the possibility of Ida meeting someone and spending ten minutes chatting. While she waited, she started to clean up. Picked up toys and figures from the sofa. Helga knew that her daughter would hear her words of warning wherever she went. She had planted her own voice of authority firmly in the girls head and knew that from there it sent out clear and constant instructions. She felt ashamed at this, the kind of shame that overcomes you after an assault, but she did not dare do otherwise. Because it was this very voice that would one day save Ida from danger. Ida was a well-brought-up girl who would never cross her mother or forget to keep a promise. But now the wall clock in Helga Joners house was approaching 7:00 P.M., and Ida had still not come home. Helga experienced the first prickling of fear. And later that sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her stand by the window from which she would see Ida appear on her yellow bicycle any second now. T

Editorial Reviews

"Fossum is a clever writer; this is her most cunning tale yet."