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By: Sara Blaedel
Louise Rick Series
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication Date: 2/7/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
The queen of Danish crime thrillers, Sara Blaedel returns following The Killing Forest (2016) and The Forgotten Girls (2015) with her latest, THE LOST WOMAN: Louise Ricks finds herself once again caught up in a web, between her personal and career life, in this highly emotional, well-researched and enthralling mystery suspense.
The saga grips you from page one with the chilling scene of a brutal murder of a forty-four-year-old woman in her home, shot outside Nailsea. Her husband drops the wine glass, and a teen daughter was just leaving. The killer is outside the window in the garden. She was killed with a hunting rifle. Motive?
Louise Rick is dating Eik. Six months earlier he moved in with her and Jonas while Louise’s friend Camilla stayed in Eik’s studio apartment with her husband and son. It had all worked out fine. Markus and Jonas had left for boarding school. Everyone was moving on.
In addition, their relationship is causing some complications at work, due to their living arrangement, since they both worked at the same place. Someone is going to need to transfer. They could not continue to being partners if they are living together.
It was awkward since she could not even mention her partner’s name to anyone else in the department without it sounding suggestive. After this discussion, Eik leaves to run down for a pack of smokes and to walk the dog. He does not return.
Flashing back to 1996, we meet Sofie Parker. A mother with MS. A woman who wants to die with dignity. Her father had died years before.
“But life can take you to a place you don’t want to be, and that’s when I want to be allowed to end it . . . . “
Louise discovers Eik is missing, and Charlie, the German shepherd remains behind. Something was very wrong.
Currently, the woman who was murdered in her home in England is none other than Sofie Parker, a Danish citizen who has been missing for years. Louise is on the case.
In the meantime, when Louise thinks about Eik, she does not know much about his past. He had been sailing in the Mediterranean when his girlfriend suddenly disappeared. Without getting into details he had told her they had quarreled and in the end, he had decided to return to Copenhagen. He learned of the tragedy upon his return to South Harbor. No sign of his girlfriend. The others were found drowned. No sign of her or her belongings.
Louise starts thinking about her relationship with Eik. Was she making him happy and had he not gotten over his love of his girlfriend. They had secrets. She knows all too well the consequences of dark secrets.
Soon the investigation links this dead woman to Sophie and Eik. How could this woman be Sophie, and what does Eik have to do with this woman and her murder? How was he linked to her?
What was he doing in southwestern England? He is arrested. Was Sofie the same woman who disappeared years ago? She had married Nigel Parker. She disappeared for some reason. Now the woman was dead.
Louise wants answers. Why was Eik at the crime scene? Erik Nordstrom was employed by the Danish Search Department. There clearly had to be a misunderstanding.
What happened when this woman disappeared from the boat in Italy? How could Eik just take off for England without telling her? She was his boss and he had disappeared in the middle of the work day, much less her live-in lover, as well. Do not mess with Louise.
Did this man know his wife from Scandinavia? He did not know much about his wife’s mysterious past. Louise is not happy with Eik’s behavior. Furious to say the least. She needed to throw him out. How are the cases connected? What is the motive?
As always, Blaedel delves deeply and tackles highly-charged topics of assisted suicide with skill and finesse, crossing moral gray lines. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.
With the author’s own compelling trademark style of complex plots and her own extensive background she offers great insight into her characters and continues to address controversial social issues and topics with an engaging narrative, and intriguing settings.
No matter what part of the world you are located, Sara always transports you with vivid descriptions and fascinating, well-crafted suspense thrillers. Her extensive research is reflected throughout each of her novels. If you have not read her books, it is a good time to begin your journey! Looking forward to more Louise Ricks.
A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.