Monday, April 6, 2015
Review of Calling Out For You by Karin Fossum (Vintage, 2006; Norwegian 2000)
Whilst ostensibly a police procedural, Calling Out For You has a somewhat different approach to most books in the sub-genre, focusing as much on the local community and how it reacts to a heinous crime in its midst as it does on the investigation. The result is a narrative strongly focused on exploring various characters and their interactions and the themes of uncertainty, doubt, suspicion and loyalty. Fossum nicely plays the heartstrings with respect to the doomed relationship between Gunder and Poona, and the tale has a strong emotional register throughout. Inspector Sejer is a reflexive policeman who steadily goes about his work, trying to build a case with limited evidence and cooperation. The scenes where he interviews a suspect are particularly nicely done, illustrating the subtleties of his approach. Overall, an engaging and unsettling read that provides some degree of closure, but leaves the reader with thoughtful questions to ponder.