The Indian Bride

By Karin Fossum; translated by Charlotte Barslund

Place: Publisher & Year: Orlando: Harcourt, Inc., c2001, 2005, 2007

Genres: Mystery, police procedural, Scandinavian noir

Series: Inspector Sejer Mystery; 4

ISBN: 9780151011827

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 297

Setting: Elvestad, Norway & Mumbai, India

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Gunder Jomann, an agricultural supply salesman, has lived in the small town of Elvestad his whole life.  When his sister gives him a book about peoples of the world, he finds himself fascinated with the picture of an Indian woman.  Eventually, he decides to take a trip to India with the hopes of finding a wife.   He is successful and finds a woman with whom he falls in love.  However, on the night she is due to arrive in Norway, Gunder is unable to meet her at the airport.  To his horror, he discovers that she has been murdered in Elvestad, less than a mile from what would have been her new home.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Rapid pace with lots of dialog and terse sentences.

Characterization: The story is told in third person from a variety of perspectives.  Much of the story is told from Gunder’s perspective, but readers also are given perspectives from the inspectors, as well as other villagers.

Frame: Dark and nebulous

Story line: A gruesome murder in a small town has everyone in town wondering who the killer is.  The victim was an outsider; perhaps the killer was as well.  In a town where almost everyone has something to hide, discovering the truth is no easy task.

Subject headings:

From WorldCat:

Sejer, Konrad (Fictitious character) — Fiction.

Police — Norway — Fiction.

Similar works:

Colin Dexter – Inspector Morse mysteries

Tana French – Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox novels

Arnaldur Indridason – Erlunder Sveinsson mysteries

P. D.  James – Adam Dalgliesh mysteries

Johan Theorin – Oland Quartet mysteries

Personal notes: I wonder if I would have picked up this book if it had been titled Beloved Poona or Calling Out for You…  I enjoyed this book.  It was easy to get into with believable characters and events.  I thought that the way the perspective shifted between characters added a chaotic element to the story which made it more messy and life-like.  I found it to be a very untidy story which leaves one wondering at the end if they really got the right person.   In spite of this though, there is a sense of completion to the story.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – Norwegians, Indians

This book also has the English title – Calling Out for You.  The Norwegian title is – Elskede Poona.

This book won the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for mystery or thriller.


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