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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.

10 comments:

  1. This really sounds good. I was trying to read some Scandinavian mysteries in the fall. Think I will get this from the library and start working on what to read in the spring.

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  2. This is part of her series right? You know I read the first one and just didn't feel very drawn in so I never continued with the series. This sounds really intriguing though. I think I'll be giving Fossum another try!

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  3. This one was released in Canada under the title "Calling out for you". I've read all of Fossum, even though I don't usually like 'police' mysteries. I like her style, and how she builds complex characters.

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  4. I recently picked up a copy of one of Karin Fossum's books and am looking forward to reading it. I am so glad to hear you liked this one!

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  5. This sounds REALLY interesting. I had not heard Fossum before.

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  6. Kay - The conclusion (or lack, thereof) was a bit disconcerting, but I still thought it was one of the better mysteries I've read lately. Great character development.

    iliana - This is the only one I've read, so I'll have to try another to come to a conclusion, but I did find it one of the more thoughtful mysteries, and I enjoyed that a great deal.

    Melanie - I agree, the complexity of the characters is a definite plus...and she developed quite a few characters to a greater degree than most mystery authors.

    L.F. - I hope you enjoy it. I'll be looking for your review as I want to read more by Fossum.

    Camille - I think her novels have only been translated to English in the last few years. I've seen her name on a few blogs lately so that was one reason I picked it up.

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  7. I can't wait to read this one. I'm on the list for it when it hits the library. Did I tell you I'm the fiction selector? I get to buy the books....

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  8. Oh, Deborah, that must be a blast...on the other hand, it must be difficult sometimes to make decisions. Can't think of anyone better to choose the fiction for purchase!

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  9. OOOO!!! I would have pulled out my eyeballs...to be so wrapped up into the characters and no closure! Its the type of torture I like though!!! I hope I can remember this one.

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  10. Karoda - The end had elements of real life; those situations that leave you in limbo about the truth, with no way to be certain. I liked that, but Man, I do like closure. :)

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