Karin Fossum is a very successful Scandinavian mystery writer. The Caller, recently translated into English, was published in 2009. It is the tenth book in her Inspector Sejer Mystery series. It is the simple story of a set of childish pranks gone bad.
Johnny Beskow is anything but simple. He is a teenager that has too much time on his hands and is emotionally disturbed. His hate and loathing of his mother is just second to the respect he has for his grandfather. This respect is based on the fact that Johnny's grandfather accepts the lad for who he is; unfortunately, the grandfather has no idea who the lad really is.
Johnny is a vindictive prankster. The pranks that he devises are so diabolical that even though no physical damage occurs, the psychological effect of his stunts is devastating and has the potential for long-lasting results. The cruelty increases with each new attack.
Inspector Sejer is a kindly old detective with the keen insight expected in a law enforcement agent who has seen just about every cruelty that man can conjure up. His partner, Skarre, is a generation younger and less worldly. Together they combine all their experience to solve the mystery behind the rash of devilish deeds that are turning a small town into "Nightmare City."
Several of Fossum's works have been adapted to film and TV in Norway. The most famous probably is the 2007 adaptation of her novel The Girl by the Lake. If interested, AHML has nine of her books and one DVD available for checkout. Readers that enjoy mysteries that are shockingly realistic, but not gory, should take a stab at Fossum's collection.