Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The Indian Bride
Fossum, Karin. The Indian Bride. Gunder Joman decides that he wants to marry and goes to India where he falls in love with Poona, a waitress in a restaurant near his hotel. They marry and Gunder returns to Norway to prepare for his bride. However, when his sister Marie is injured in an automobile accident, Gunder is unable to meet his bride at the airport. He sends a friend, a mini cab driver, to meet her, but Poona is not there.
Later, the terribly battered body of an Indian woman is discovered. At first, Gunder refuses to acknowledge the possibility that this is Poona. Inspector Sejer investigates, determines that the victim is, indeed, Poon Bai Joman, and eventually, Gunder must face the facts. He spends most of the time at the hospital talking to the unconscious Marie, working through his grief.
A young man whose alibi proves unsubstantiated is arrested, but there are other possible suspects. Just when the reader believes the murderer is rightfully in custody, Fossum reverses the flow and leaves the reader curious about the outcome. A sequel?
The characters are perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this novel. More than one storyline develops and there is no sense of closure for either of the important story lines. I followed events with interest and enjoyed the way Fossum brought all of the characters to life, but really hope there is a follow-up to bring things to a conclusion. While I agree that real mysteries are often open-ended, the intent of this novel seems to imply that there will be more in the future before things are wrapped up.
Fossum is a talented author who creates characters complete with all of their foibles , failings, and vulnerabilities.
Fiction. Mystery. English translation 2005. 297 pages.