Author: Sara Blædel
Genre: Fiction (Crime / Mystery / Denmark / Police Procedural )
Publisher/Publication Date: Pegasus Book (8/16/2011)
Did I finish?: Yes, but I skimmed a good deal.
One-sentence summary: Danish police detective races to find a rapist before he strikes again, all while juggling stresses in her personal life.
Reading Challenges: E-Book
Do I like the cover?: Eh -- the book is about internet dating, not the dangers of walking alone at night, so the cover doesn't feel quite right to me.
First line: The pain cut into her wrists, and she couldn't react because her hands were tied so tightly behind her back.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you're a Scandinavian crime fic addict and you're in need of a new fix.
Why did I get this book?: I like some crime and mystery series, and I love things set in Denmark.
Review: This is Blædel's American (or English-language) debut, which is unfortunate, because this novel is the second in Blædel's series featuring Danish detective Louise Rick. By page 44, I noted on GoodReads that I was feeling a disconnect with the characters and I wondered if it was because I was coming in midseries -- so I feel slightly vindicated that is, indeed, the case.
The novel opens with a graphic, detailed rape so I knew immediately that this wasn't going to be my kind of book. I was expecting a little more nuanced plot, but instead, the crime is straight-forward: a man is raping women he meets online. I wasn't wild about the writing style (or translation, I'm not sure which): despite the detailed scenes of violence, the rest of the book detailing the investigation felt very vague and aloof. I didn't connect with the lead character, Detective Louise Rick, her bestie Camille, or anyone else in the story. Louise had interesting potential: she displayed a mixture of empathy and impatience with the victims, which felt real to me, and I would have liked to learn more about her. Sadly, despite the foreign locale, so much of the story felt familiar, from our heroine's failing romantic life to her tension with her supervisor. I didn't get a sense of Copenhagen or Denmark, either: the story really could have been set anywhere in the US.
In the end, not a favorite for me, but something must have grabbed because now, about a week or so later, I'm still wondering about some parts of Louise's life and I've been searching for info about the possible next English-language translation in the series.