Fossum, Karin - 'Calling Out For You' (translated by Charlotte Barslund)
CALLING OUT FOR YOU is the fifth entry in the Inspector Sejer series and the fourth to be made available in English.
Though the main series characters are the two metres tall Konrad Sejer and his young assistant the curly haired Jacob Skarre, in all but DON'T LOOK BACK, their appearance occurs a significant way into the story, allowing the author to introduce you to the victims and their circumstances before the mystery begins.
This is particularly poignant in CALLING OUT FOR YOU as the reader is introduced to Gunder Jomann a nice, quiet, steady man, still a bachelor but who believes that when he goes to India, he will find a bride. Which is exactly what happens. He returns home to Norway ahead of his wife, Poona, but on the day she is due to arrive he cannot get to the airport to collect her. Though he sends a local taxi driver in his stead, the driver is unable to find Poona at the airport.
The next day the police are called in, as the body of 'foreign' woman has been found only a kilometre from Gunder's house. The murder is one of the most brutal seen in Norway and means the small town where Gunder lives will never be the same again.
The atmosphere in the town is such that people hold back information so as not to appear guilty or imply that others are guilty, and those that do offer up witness statements, such as Linda who glimpsed the murderer and their car, are shunned. It makes solving the case a drawn out process.
Like DON'T LOOK BACK, CALLING OUT FOR YOU is a more traditional police procedural and another similarity between them is the ambiguity of the ending.
This time, even when the case is solved, Fossum leaves you wondering if the right person is in custody or maybe, she's just showing the suspicion that will now linger over the town for many years.
CALLING OUT FOR YOU keeps you gripped but conversely it is a book you don't want to end but at least when it does, and as with all Fossum's previous books, it will stay with you.
NB. The US title is THE INDIAN BRIDE.
Read another review of CALLING OUT FOR YOU.
Karen Meek, England