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The Indian Bride

1 rating: 5.0
a book by Karin Fossum

When perpetual bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the Norwegian town of Elvestad is stunned. On the day the Indian bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found in a meadow on the outskirts … see full wiki

Author: Karin Fossum, Charlotte Barslund
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Harcourt
Date Published: 2007
1 review about The Indian Bride

"Dear Poona. Welcome to Elvestad."

  • Jan 26, 2009
  • by
When Gunder Jomann, an agricultural machine salesman and fifty-one-year-old bachelor leaves his quiet village of Elvestad, Norway, for the more exotic locale of India, he is on a secret mission: Gunder is determined to find a wife. While in Mombai (Bombay until 1955), Gunder meets and marries Poona, a waitress in a restaurant near where he is staying. Quietly attracted to one another and of like constitution, the two are wed; Poona remains behind to tie up loose ends, while Gunder returns home to announce the news to his younger sister, Marie, and prepare the house for his bride: "In his mind he saw her all the time." On the day of Poona's arrival, Marie is in a horrible accident and Gunder is called to his sister's side at the very hour Poona is due to arrive. His worst nightmare come true, Marie is incapacitated and Poona cannot be located by the mini cab driver Gunder has sent in his stead. After an agonizing night of waiting and worrying, Poona has still not arrived at Gunder's home.

Meanwhile a crowd gathers near a vacant field, awaiting the arrival of Inspector Konrad Sejer and his assistant, Jacob Skarre, to oversee the investigation of a woman's brutalized body found there, her long black hair and bright turquoise garb providing no clue as to the victim's identity. Thus begins Sejer's gradual unraveling of evidence and Gunder's eventual realization that his beloved bride will never share his life. Wracked with guilt and self-doubt, the noble, empathetic Gunder struggles to make sense of the tragic events that have touched his life, while Sejer, grimly determined, does what he does best, methodically reconstructing cause and effect to solve the crime. With the aid of an impressionable eye-witness who passed the scene of the crime on her bicycle, Sejer assembles the bare bones of what will prove to be a trying investigation, the hallmark of which is the villager's reluctance to expose themselves or their friends to police scrutiny, the killer hiding behind a fa├žade of normalcy.

Norway's cold, remote landscape frequently obscures the heated passions of inhabitants who harbor the same feelings as those in warmer climates, loneliness, isolation, covetousness and loyalty. Fossum brings Gunder and Poona so achingly alive that this crime seems all the more outrageous, that two simple, loving people should be robbed of their joy, both discovering romance later in life. In many ways, this mystery rises above its genre, the characters fully realized: a poignant love affair that reveals the natural instinct of people to recognize each other no matter the country of origin; a complex, subtle society with rigid mores and secrets hidden beneath the niceties of daily intercourse; a young woman's incessant need for validation and the extremes of her misplaced desires; a body builder's obsession with his body and control of his emotional environment; and a thoughtful exploration of human nature trapped in its own shortcomings. Luan Gaines.
The Indian Bride

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The Indian Bride, Karin Fossum
The Indian Bride, Karin Fossum
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