Nine-year-old Ida Joner bicycles into town and disappears. Her mother, Helga, is distraught that her only child has gone missing. Inspector Konrad Sejer and his colleague, Jacob Skarre, are given the case and have very few leads. The reader's suspicions fall on Emil Johannes (a fiftyish loner who doesn't speak) and Ida's teenage cousin, Tomme, who was in a car accident the night that Ida disappeared and seems to be hiding something. Slowly, with great effect, we learn what happened to Ida and who was responsible. As with her previous books in the series, Fossum creates a mystery that combines the police procedural with the psychological. Her characterizations are first-rate and I can now say that she's my second-favorite Scandavian mystery writer, after Henning Mankell.