Sunday, August 21, 2022

Only One Life (The Drowned Girl) by Sara Blaedel


Detective Louise Rick has been promoted to the Mobile Crime Unit.  When a young teenage girl is pulled from the fjord in a small town, she is sent there to work with the local police.  The girl, Samra, is around fifteen and is a Jordanian Muslim immigrant, part of the fairly large Muslim community.  She lives with her parents, an older brother and a younger brother and sister.  Many people's first thought is that this is some sort of an honor killing but Samra's parents insist she has done nothing that would bring any thoughts of punishing her, much less in such a vicious fashion.  

Louise and her partner interview Samra's friends.  The most forthcoming is Ditka but she also insists Samra didn't have a boyfriend yet and didn't do anything that would be objectionable.  Ditka is an attractive girl whose dream is to be a model and she spends a lot of time being photographed and is moderately successful in her town being used in advertisements.  As the case progresses, the police are caught between the evidence and the assumptions of an honor killing that will not go away.  When another girl is found killed, the pressure increases.  Are these part of a serial killer's work or two separate incidents?

This is the third in the Louise Ricks series and was first released under the title Only One Life and later released again as The Drowned Girl.  This police procedural gives the reader insight into the Danish police organization which is much more collaborative than the American one.  The lower crime rate allows this team focus on every crime.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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