So this Norwegian author who lives alone, prone to despondency, drinks too much wine, goes to her picture window to look at the line of weathered souls waiting year after year for a ghostwriter contract. It is too much to consider. She goes to bed. Then a man, who has lived his life with a cartilage only skeleton, violates waiting line protocol, and comes in her house.
The Devil, now author, offers Faust a ghosting contract which he signs under his new name Alvar Eide. He does not pause to read all the fine print. The heartburn is clearly in the fine print.
If you like my opening summary, then you will love Broken by Karin Fossum, mercifully translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund. First you spend a chapter with the author whining about her personal problems as well as the frightened complaints from Alvar Eide. The next chapter you spend alone with Alvar, well almost alone. Then back to the author’s house.
When a novel makes a reader appreciate control over his own insane life, that is a service to mankind. Actually the book is identified as a mystery. Call it what you like. Charles Marlin