Shaman’s Cannonball Read #CBR5 review #17: When the devil holds the candle by Karin Fossum

This is the epitome of summer reading. A quick, light, unpretentious read that’s easy to digest and just as easy to forget.

Andreas is an 18-year old that doesn’t know what to do with his life. He spends all his time when he’s not working with his best friend Zipp, hanging around town, managing to stay out of trouble despite their risky (and often outright criminal) behaviour. Then, one day, Andreas disappears. No one knows where he is. Or at least that’s what the police believe until they talk to Zipp and they realise he is hiding something.

It is not a ground-breaking idea, but we know almost from the start who’s responsible for Andreas’ disappearance. The question is not so much who did it but why. Through the pages of the book, a portrait of a very disturbed person is slowly revealed.

Don’t expect a deep psychological thriller or a complex mystery here. The portrayal of the disturbed person feels incomplete. Andreas’ own implied psychological problems are only hinted at. It was like waiting for a punchline that never came.

This is not a fancy 7-course meal at a fancy restaurant. This is a light snack before going to bed. It might keep your stomach busy for a while, but by midnight you’re hungry again.