Karin Fossum's mysteries are so much more than that. She creates memorable characters who come to life within your mind. Some you come to care about a...moreKarin Fossum's mysteries are so much more than that. She creates memorable characters who come to life within your mind. Some you come to care about and others you dislike intensely, but with all of whom you can empathize...their humanity is so painfully evident. I am always left with the sense of having been transported to a different place, of having been a "fly on the wall" in the lives of these people.
The Indian Bride was wonderful. At first, I had my doubts. Here's Gunder, "shopping for a wife" in his People of All Nations book and I thought, "Oh, brother, this is going to be a dud." Was I ever wrong.
Gunder takes shape as a very simple, yet complex, person before my eyes. As I turn the pages, I get to know him more and more...his story, his place in his village, his relationship with his sister, and his dead wife. I was really rooting for him. I very much wanted him to be happy.
But it was not to be. The tragedy occurred early in the book, of course, and the obvious mystery was who killed Poona. But Fossum wove lots of mysteries and stories throughout this defining theme. Linda seems pathetic and almost comical until she turns frightening. The misanthrope, Einar, who ironically owns the main social hub, the cafe; his questionable marriage, his lies to the police. Goran, with so much to prove. Gunwald, who lives by the meadow and walks his old dog and runs his dumpy little market. EVeryone in the village had a perspective, a bias, a part to play in this incredible drama.
And of course, there was Inspector Sejer and Skarre. We got to know a lot more about these, our heroes, that adds to the intimacy of the reader's relationship. I love being allowed inside their minds and their lives.
The ending of the book was very satisfying. It was logical and reasonable and well developed and tied up not only the primary mystery, but most of the other small mysteries as well. Altogether a very good read.(less)
I've become a big fan of Asa Larsson. I see no need to compare her to the likes of Karin Fossum, whom I also love to read. She can stand on her own me...moreI've become a big fan of Asa Larsson. I see no need to compare her to the likes of Karin Fossum, whom I also love to read. She can stand on her own merits.
Personally, I think that Black Path is excellent. I like all of the storylines and am not troubled by the fact that our heroine, Rebeka, isn't always the main focus of the book. I enjoy Anna-Maria Mella and her partner, Sven-Erik, tremendously, and I think that the back and forth of the different plots was skillfully handled and very effective.
Ester is an unusual character and I was a bit thrown by all of the spiritual references, etc. I'm a pretty literal gal and yet I thought that the author did a fine job of making it all come together at the end.
Mauri was bone-chilling. His business-like arrangement of the murder. Fascinating to observe him justify his actions, view his world, analyse his options.
And poor Diddi. A pitiful, weak excuse for a human being, let alone a husband, father, brother. he was no loss, but whew! what a mess he brought to pass at the end. The sad inevitability of it all combined with the uncertainties of Anna-Maria and Sven-Erik's involvement added intensity to the ending of the story. And Ebba and Mauri's escape was brilliant: will they surface again? Or is Ester's vision to come true...(less)
I saw the author recommended somewhere and was immediately intrigued when I learned that she is Norwegian (I'm third generation half-Norwegian and fas...moreI saw the author recommended somewhere and was immediately intrigued when I learned that she is Norwegian (I'm third generation half-Norwegian and fascinated with my distant roots.
I found the novel fascinating. A rich, wonderful, twisty kind of murder mystery that surprises throughout; definitely not your standard, keep track of the clues and guess at the end kind of mystery. The characters are fully developed over the course of the novel, and I enjoyed "getting to know" more and more about them, what made them tick. While I thought aspects of the book were poignant, the story was sympathetic without descending into sentimentality, which was no small achievement to my mind. Simply a terrific read for anyone who loves not only a good murder mystery, but one infused with the personalities of each of its characters.(less)
The Vishnu Puri mysteries are definitely cozies, but with a wonderful, foreign flavor. Author, Tarquin Hall, seems to know the Far East well, and I lo...moreThe Vishnu Puri mysteries are definitely cozies, but with a wonderful, foreign flavor. Author, Tarquin Hall, seems to know the Far East well, and I love all of the atmospheric details he incorporates into his stories. My daughter has gotten me interested in India and Indian stories, and I get a kick out of the Hindi words (there's a glossary at the back of his books) and his charming sentence structure...it is that I am hurrying, only. Some times I read out loud, just for the fun of the words rolling off my tongue (badly as I must be sounding!).
I adore the role that the detective's mom plays...Mummies aren't for being investigating! Just lots of fun, lite reading, yet well written, to my mind. flows smoothly, decent plots...at least two or three interwoven, so it breaks things up nicely.
Do read his Elephant Graveyard book if you like adventure/travelogue stories. Though it's a true story it reads like fiction; Hall is observant and funny and apparently not a whiner. very sympathetic writer.(less)
I haven't been able to find Sun Storm, so I had to start with this, the second in the series. I liked it very much. I agree with Lisa that the author...moreI haven't been able to find Sun Storm, so I had to start with this, the second in the series. I liked it very much. I agree with Lisa that the author has painted Rebecka Martinsson as rather pitiful, but after what she has been through, I feel that it,s probably pretty realistic. The wolf story didn't aggravate me as much as it did some of you, but I tend to be pretty literal, so if it was laden with lots of symbolism, it was lost on me. I did like the fact that the wolf made her own way, got her needs met (even if she did have to mate beneath her normal standards...so to speak). I also thought that since she was headed for the area of Kiruna, we might meet her in later books.
When I read novels set in foreign countries I always get out a map. Kiruna is waaaaay up in the Far North, as they say in Sweden. I enjoyed the insights into the native cultures up there, how they relate somewhat to the 'southerners' , reindeer culture, etc.
Something to keep in mind is that in this book, the main character is more Anna-Maria than Rebecka, which is great by me. Anna-Maria seems to be a very normal type person, contrasted with Rebecka,s antisocial, nerdy traits. The two offset one another and the author does a good job of bringing their 'partnership' to life gradually. A development of trust and mutual interest. (this is more in the next novel, which I am reading now.) I also very much like her partner, Sven-Erik. Of course I love cats like he does, so I warmed up to him right away.
Personally I didn't mind having Rebecka easing back into civilization and civility. I thought it made sense, was a logical step Base d on Rebeckas experiences. I liked the cafe, Mimmi, and Mike...Nalle's coming into Rebecka,s life.
Something I liked a lot in this book was the presentation of the character, 'Mildred, and the people she affected. IMO like so many dogooders, Mildred DoES do a lot of good, but also takes a lot for granted and causes a lot of pain, too. I thought the book did a good job of making her and the people around her very complex. It wasn't easy to tell who was the "good" person and who was the "bad" person at any one point in time. I would have had a hard time getting a lot with Mildred, no doubt in my mind, yet I had to admire much of what she challenged.
Lars-Gunnar and his son, Nalle, were an interesting pair. I could truly feel Lars anger and frustration with Mildred,s interference. That dogoodism, that moral high road, that give some people such power. The ending came together well. The Lisa character didn't affect me so much. I just wasn't able to feel her pain. not sure why. Was that relationship not as well developed I the story? (less)
I just love this series. Cardinal is so human and his wife so vulnerable. For some reason, I seem to really enjoy novels set in Canada, perhaps becaus...moreI just love this series. Cardinal is so human and his wife so vulnerable. For some reason, I seem to really enjoy novels set in Canada, perhaps because I do not wish to live where it gets really cold...(less)
I am loving this Swedish mystery series! Plus, they have all been made into movies! I like foreign series because, for me, it is like traveling, and if...moreI am loving this Swedish mystery series! Plus, they have all been made into movies! I like foreign series because, for me, it is like traveling, and if the books are well written, I have an authentic experience of the mores and habits in another country.
Det. insp. Irene Huss is an interesting character. She is the main breadwinner in her family, and she is fairly comfortable with that...yet does have her occasional doubts. Often due to the observations of others (not so differ from everywhere, right?) She is smart and an expert in martial arts. There is a welcome blend of family story with the work/mystery story, which I think adds to the authenticity, makes the people more three dimensional, and puts everything in context. She has teen daughters named Katarina and Jenny. Jenny's current boyfriend Martin is a musician in a rock band and is very Gothic but nice. her husband is Krister.
Notes for myself: this is the second novel. A man is killed by a shotgun blast. Several miles away his parents are also killed by a rifle as they lie in bed. Both the men are pastors. Devilish pentagrams are painted in blood on each computer monitor. Names: Jacob Schyttelius, Sten Schyttelius, daughter, Rebeka, is living in England. Her business partner and life partner is Christian. Irene's partner is Frederik. he is a computer nerd. Eva Moller is a beautiful psychic-wannabe...or is she really? The story involves serious porn and perversion.(less)
I love Karin Fossum's books. (Full disclosure: my heritage is half Norweigian and I'm intrigued by the Skandinavian perspective.) They take the genre...more
I love Karin Fossum's books. (Full disclosure: my heritage is half Norweigian and I'm intrigued by the Skandinavian perspective.) They take the genre of murder mystery to a brilliant new level by focusing on the effects of the murder on all of the different people involved instead of on figuring out whodunnit. So refreshing! With every new book Fossum explores a different dynamic, a different type of relationship and issue in society . In Water's Edge, the relationship we follow is that of the couple who finds a young boy who was sexually abused and then murdered; the issue is abuse of all kinds. I found it fascinating to see how Fossum gradually revealed more and more about the characters...the couple, Sejer, Skarre, the people in the community...and how the murder and the elements of paedophilia and other types of abuse tapped into their personal values and experiences.
I like to read some books just for escapism, but Fossum,s books feed my need for reflection and emotional inquiry into the human condition...as another reviewer said, "warts and all." and it amazes me how much Fossum accomplishes in such relatively short volumes. Her writing is rich yet economical...not a single unnecessary word. She captures a snapshot of an aspect of society that is at once harsh yet hopeful. No small feat. But I hate for her books to end: I'm addicted!(less)