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
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.
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.
Sejer, Konrad (Fictitious character) — Fiction.
Police — Norway — Fiction.
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.