Monday, December 17, 2018

Review: The Drowned Girl by Sara Blaedel

Title: The Drowned Girl
Author: Sara Blaedel
Series: Louise Rick, #3
Published: December 2018, Grand Central Publishing
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Detective Louise Rick must race against the clock to stop a violent killer targeting immigrants in this disturbing and timely thriller, perfect for readers of Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, or Jo Nesbo.

It's clearly no ordinary drowning. When a young girl is pulled from the watery depths, a piece of concrete tied around her waist and two mysterious circular patches on the back of her neck, Detective Louise Rick is immediately called out to Holbaek Fjord.

Her name was Samra, and when the police learn that she was a member of Holbaek's sizeable Muslim immigrant community, they immediately assume it was an honor killing. Yet her mother insists Samra had done nothing dishonorable. Louise must navigate the complex web of family and community ties in the small town's tightly knit Muslim community as she hunts a killer . . . before he strikes again.

Thriller master Sara Blaedel is in top form as Louise takes on what may be her most important-and most deadly-case yet.

My thoughts: This is the third book in Sara Blaedel's Louise Rick series, and the third, and final, book in the Homicide Trilogy that Grand Central Publishing is releasing this year. I am so excited that this whole series will now be available for readers here in the really is one of my favorite crime fiction series!!!

Once again - I need to make a note about this particular installment, as I did with the previous book. But this time it was only published one time in English, not two, so a little less confusion! This book was previously published as "Only One Life." It was published by a few different publishers under that title and released here in the states as well as in the UK, so it is possible, if you are a big fan of this series, that you might have already read this book. Again, I'm not entirely sure why Grand Central has changed the name - I can see the merit of both titles, but there you have it.

This book is intense! A young Jordanian girl, Samra, has been killed and it is suspected that it might have been an honor killing. The belief behind honor killings is that the life of this one girl's life doesn't matter when the honor of her extended family is at stake. This is what Detective Louise Rick, who is on temporary assignment in Holbaek with the Unit One Mobile Task Force, is charged with figuring out...was this an honor killing? Or was this an act of random violence? Or even more frightening, was she killed by someone she knew?

Louise has been put on this temporary assigned because of her past experience with honor killings. She is a dedicated detective, smart and observant. She takes her job seriously, and while she has her own opinions on how the case should be handled, she is a team player. 

As Louise is working her side of the case, her best friend, journalist Camilla Lind, has also ended up in Holbaek, to cover the murder. And just writing articles isn't enough for her. Camilla feels deeply about this case and ends up befriending Samra's mother, Saba, and becomes quite involved with the family. She does her best to help prevent the racial tensions that arise in the town after the murder.  

As much as this is a police procedural, and a good one at that, I like that we see the emotions that come with the heaviness of this case. It gets to both Louise and Camilla and we see them struggle with their emotions time and again. Sara Blaedel does not sugar coat this in any way, rather she shows each of their vulnerabilities. This just makes them that much more relatable as characters.

I loved how as much as this book was about the murders and solving them, Sara Blaedel also gives us plenty of character development, too. Both Louise and Camilla's personal lives are deftly woven into the story lines so as to balance the heaviness of the case, giving us a much needed lightness at times. 

This was an excellent installment and the question of who was behind the murders really kept me guessing all the way to the end.  I am so excited to have finally read all the books in this series. Now my question is do I reread the books I have already read to see how the character development plays out in order, or do I just wait for the next book, book 10, if there is to be a book 10, to come out?

A Note on this series:
***This series was first published in Denmark. Grand Central Publishing has started publishing some of the later books here in the US, which have been grouped in 3 trilogies 'The Missing Persons Trilogy,' 'The Camilla Trilogy,' and 'The Homicide Trilogy.'

The Missing Persons Trilogy (Available in US now):
  1. The Forgotten Girl
  2. The Killing Forest 
  3. The Lost Woman
The Camilla Trilogy (Available in the US now - as of 1.2.18):   
  1. The Night Women
  2. The Running Girl
  3. The Stolen Angel 
The Homicide Trilogy (Will be available in the US this year):  
  1. The Midnight Witness - out now
  2. The Silent Women - out now
  3. The Drowned Girl - to be published December 24th, 2018

Louise Rick Series (as Sara Blaedel published it): 
  1. The Midnight Witness
  2. Call Me Princess / Blue Blood / The Silent Women
  3. Only One Life / The Drowned Girl
  4. The Night Women (formerly published as Farewell to Freedom)
  5. The Running Girl
  6. The Stolen Angel
  7. The Forgotten Girls
  8. The Killing Forest 
  9. The Lost Woman    
*** You'll notice book 2 has three titles and book 3 has two titles - I actually have all these books, all in English, all from different publishers, released at different times! This is how much I love this author and this series, that I have these different editions!!!


1 comment

  1. The authors name seems familiar but going through the list I cannot recollect reading any of her books. This sounds complicated but good.


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