I really enjoy the writing style of this author. Her characters are fully developed and the story kept me reading way past bedtime. However, I was pretty disappointed with the ending. It didn't wrap much of anything up for me. Not sure I would read another book by this author if it has another ending like this one. I almost felt like I wasted my time reading it.
This was the first Karin Fossum book I've read and I couldn't put it down. The characters were so well developed. The book makes you feel as if you live in the small town in Norway where the story takes place. If you have any Scandanavian relatives, as I do, you will recognize the people in this book. The only thing I didn't really like was that the story ended too abruptly.
The author managed to depict small town Norway and Mumbai India so well that I had clear mental images of both. This is my second Karin Fossum book and I am a devoted fan already. The characters are all so interesting and fully developed. Her attention to detail is superb.
One of the best psychological mysteries I've read in a while.
Gunder Jomann, never married, decides to go to India to find himself a wife. He succeeds, but on the day she is due to arrive, his sister has a terrible car accident. He sends a friend to pick up his wife, but the friend cannot find Poona at the airport. Later, Poona is discovered having been beaten to death in a meadow, not too far from Gunder's home.
A witness points the finger to a young bodybuilder, but was it really him? Others were around the same location at the same time. Everybody knows a little something, but nobody is really talking, because nobody wants to accuse a neighbor outright in this little village.
Fantastically dense characters and the story is very touching. Don't expect a neat ending.
TITLE/AUTHOR: THE INDIAN BRIDE AKA CALLING OUT FOR YOU by Karin Fossum
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Mystery/ 2001 Norway & 2007 English translation/297 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #5 in Inspector Konrad Sejer series
CHARACTERS: Inspector Konrad Sejer
FIRST LINES: The silence is shattered by the barking of a dog.
COMMENTS: Loved it! The set-up is about the 1st 1/3 of the book that really is emotionally engaging. We meet Gunder Jorman a 50 yr old bachelor living in a small Norwegian village -- Elvestad. He has been enchanted w/ a photo of an Indian woman in the book People of All Nations and decides to take a trip to India and find a wife. He travels to Mumbai and eats at a nearby restaurant where he becomes smitten w/ the waitress, Poona a 38-yr-old. They marry and he returns to Norway. Poona, his bride will soon follow. A very sweet and tender romance that unfortunately will not have a happy ever after. Gunder's sister is in a critical auto accident at the time he is to pick-up Poona at the airport. Poona finds other transport to Elvestad but Gunder & Poona never reunite -- she is brutally murderdered. This small town is stunned and unwilling to admit that one of their own neighbors is capable of such violence. Detective Sejer is also portrayed in a very human light, especially the snippets referring to his ailing canine companion. The ending is a bit open to speculation. Wonderful book, will be reading more of Fossum.
This is an excellent book, but I want to note that it was also published under the title "The Indian Bride." I bought it not realizing I had read it under that title. It is well worth reading and one of Fossum's better novels.
To my chagrin, I discovered it has been four years since I last read a book written by Karin Fossum. That is much too long a time between books. Fossum's Inspector Sejer is one of the best detectives in all of crime fiction, and I was reminded of this time and again as I read Calling Out for You.
The mystery is an engrossing one, and it takes Sejer quite a lot of patient teasing out of facts before he can even begin piecing things together. Too many people have secrets in Elvestad. Too many villagers believe that there's no way any of them could brutally beat a woman to death. And since no one could possibly have done anything wrong, there's no need to tell the police of the odd thing they happened to see the evening of the murder. It's an ironic fact of village life: live in one and your life seems like an open book, but it is possible to keep secrets all the same.
As rock solid as the mystery is, it is the power of Fossum's characterizations that pull this reader down into her story. The solid, dependable simplicity of Gunder Jomann and the sheer strength of his longing seep deep down into your awareness. The steadfast, cheerful, loving personality of Poona Bai is absolutely perfect for Gunder. Love has come to two very unlikely people, and I couldn't be happier for them. Fossum brought Poona to life in a few short pages, and what ultimately happens is heartbreaking.
It takes a detective like Inspector Konrad Sejer to solve this case. From the very first book in this series, I've admired Sejer because he listens to everyone. In solving murders, everyone is of value, and Sejer tends to rely on people that everyone else tends to ignore-- the old, the developmentally disabled, the homeless.... Sejer has a tender side that we are allowed to glimpse-- from the steadily declining health of his beloved old dog to his instructions to his team about the disposition of the murdered woman's belongings. This man has been on the job for a long time, but it hasn't knocked the compassion out of him. In many ways if I found myself living out life as a member of a homicide team, I'd want to be a member of Sejer's.
If you love tightly plotted mysteries that aren't always neatly tied up by book's end, if you love rich character studies that stay with you long after you've finished reading the book, if you love police procedurals with heart, I have a suggestion. Karin Fossum's Inspector Konrad Sejer series. It's marvelous.