cover image The Indian Bride

The Indian Bride

Karin Fossum, , trans. from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund. . Harcourt, $23 (297pp) ISBN 978-0-15-101182-7

F ossum may not be well-known outside a select circle, but that could change with the publication of this outstanding contemporary police procedural, the fourth Inspector Sejer mystery to be translated into English (after 2006's He Who Fears the Wolf ). Insp. Konrad Sejer is faced with a baffling crime when the battered body of a woman surfaces in a field outside the town of Elvestad. She's soon identified as Poona Jomann, the new wife of Gunder Jomann, who traveled to India in search of a life partner. Gunder's sister's injury in an auto accident kept him from meeting his bride at the airport, leaving her to travel to their new home alone, a journey that ended in murder. With a skill few can equal, Fossum deftly paints the provincial inhabitants of Elvestad, coupling those poignant word portraits with a whodunit and an insightful but fallible detective. The ending is not one most readers will expect, but it perfectly suits the tale of sad, little lives and the tragic consequences of chance. (July)