“The candles were still lit in the living room. The bottle of wine and the glasses were sitting on the coffee table. Blood trickled down along her nose as she stared at the glow from the candlelight, her head turned to the side, and she thought about the restaurant and their three-course meal just a few hours before. He had ordered calvados to go with their coffee, without asking her if she liked it, so she hand’t needed to admit that she didn’t know what it was. They held hands over the table.”
Call Me Princess by Sara Blaedel
Assistant Detective Louise Rick, from the Copenhagen Police, was getting ready to go home when she is assigned to cover a violent attack on a young woman. Susanne Hannson was beaten and raped in her home and was found nearly unconscious by her mother who claims that her daughter is single and not dating anyone.
As the detective draws out the information from Susanne she learns that the victim is a lonely woman who is living for her mother and not herself. The one time she starts to make a life for herself and tries to meet someone the results are devastating. It turns out that Susanne was seeking friendship and love on the internet and fell for the wrong guy.
Through an online dating site, a man who goes by Prinzz, is carefully seeking out his victims but Louise is on to him and will draw him out by playing his game. Of course amidst the search for the rapist, Louise personal life is falling apart with troubles with her boyfriend, best friend and co-workers.
While the book has elements that work in its favor, such a strong lead character, several red herrings and good tension, especially in the beginning, it somehow didn’t live up to my expectations. Louise’s strong character works in her favor when tracking a killer but not so much when dealing with a victim. I realize she is not a social worker but a bit more compassion would have been nice. And, there are a few other characters who didn’t quite work for me either, in particular, Louise’s best friend.
I wanted to like this book a lot given that I am quite a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction but this one didn’t even make me feel like I was in a foreign land. I would give this author another try to see where the series goes but I’ll have to keep my expectations in check.
Source: NetGalley ARC