The great thing about Karin Fossum, the queen of Nordic noir, is that she’s willing to try new things. She experiments, but never sacrifices story for form. In I CAN SEE IN THE DARK, she explores from a first-person view the damaged world of Riktor, who works in a nursing home. In the first eleven pages, in five incredibly short chapters, she shows us that Riktor has some capacity for evil, knows what he’s capable of, and sets the suspense and creep level at a remarkably high point.
Riktor enjoys tormenting the patients, many of whom are unable to complain to higher authority, and he revels in their powerlessness and the mastery of his domain. He is a sociopath, seemingly unable to connect empathically with anyone. When he forms a stunted relationship with an alcoholic man he meets on a park bench, even this “friendship” ends in utter disaster.