First published in Norway in 1995, this novel is the first of the Inspector Sejer Mysteries. He is introduced as a quiet, methodical investigator, and is presented with an interesting case: A man, missing for months, floats to the edge of an icy river, witnessed by a woman, Eva Magnus, and her daughter. Sejer is already working on another unsolved murder, a woman prostitute who was found dead just about the time the man went missing.
From this beginning one would expect a methodical police procedural. Instead, it develops into a study of Eva, who plays a key role in the developing plot. A single mother and a starving artist, who only occasionally manages to sell a painting, lacking financial resources to pay her bills, she becomes the focal point of the novel.
To some degree, the book is a bit confusing. Whether it is the original writing or the translation is difficult to determine. There are a number of interesting techniques which the author demonstrates, along with a tricky conclusion. The story is well-developed, but I found it slow reading. Having read some other novels in the series, this book certainly demonstrates the characteristics of future Sejer investigations, especially the in-depth portrayals of the various personalities involved. At the least, from an historical viewpoint, therefore, “Eva’s Eye” can be recommended....Continua
As the book opens, Eva Magnus is walking with her seven-year-old daughter, Emma, one late afternoon in April along the riverbank in her Norwegian town, described as “only beautiful after dark,” when suddenly a body floats to the surface of the icy water. Although she tells Emma that she will immediately call the police, the call she makes is an innocuous one to her father, after which the two go to McDonald’s to eat and then return to their home. Eva is an artist, a single mom after that her husband had left to live with another woman. She is a complex woman, with a fear of dogs which comes up several times in the opening pages of this novel, which first introduced Inspector Konrad Sejer.
Sejer, after another person discovers the body and notifies the police, heads up the investigation. The dead man is identified as Egil Einarsson, 38 years old with a wife and six-year-old son, who had been reported missing several months before. He had apparently been stabbed 15 times before his body was dumped in the water. When Sejer realizes that the date of the dead man’s disappearance was only a few days after the body of a dead woman was found in the same general area, he pursues the two cases as being connected. Along the way, the name of Eva Magnus keeps popping up in connection with each. Much of the tale is told in flashback, as the back-story is slowly revealed.
Sejer is 49 years old, widowed for eight, with a grown daughter and a young grandson. He is a man of great charm with a sentimental side, qualities reflected in the author’s writing as well. The plot is intriguing as the investigation proceeds to its logical conclusion with Sejer following up all the clues. [The novel was originally published in Norwegian in 1995, and several books in the series have followed.] I have enjoyed all this author’s books very much, and this one is no exception. Recommended....Continua