A man murders a grocer over fifteen cents—but in the sharp, icy prose and detached tone that defines this collection, his crime seems neither sensational nor entirely reprehensible. Rosa Liksom populates a world of snow-covered landscapes, antiseptic apartments, fish factories, and lumber camps with the obsessive, the violent, and the unhinged. A woman refuses to leave prison until she has served her entire sentence. A man obsessively cleans his apartment as his life moves on around him. A woman kills her new husband over his neediness and inability to leave their bed.
The stark lives and actions of these characters are infused with an emotional intimacy that draws the reader into uncomfortable empathy with the extremity of their deeds.