Book Title: The Lost Woman
Author: Sara Blaedel
Reviewed By: Chelsea
Series: Louise Rick #6
Genres: Crime Fiction, Nordic Noir, Mystery, Suspense
Date Read: 02/07/17
Pub Date: 03/10/17
A housewife is the target of a shocking, methodical killing.
Shot with a hunting rifle through her kitchen window, the woman is dead before she hits the ground. Though murdered in England, it turns out that the woman, Sofie Parker, is a Danish citizen–one who’s been missing for almost two decades–so Louise Rick is called on to the case.
Then the police discover that the woman, Sophie, had been reported missing eighteen years ago by none other than Eik, Louise Rick’s police colleague and lover. Impulsive as ever, Eik rushes to England, and ends up in jail on suspicion of Sofie’s murder. Unsettled by the connection, and sick with worry for Eik, it falls to Louise to find the killer in what will become her most controversial case yet…
I haven’t seen much in the way of the original series covers, but the book jackets for Sara Blaedel’s US books are fantastic. They draw you right in and have a clean feeling that is extremely appealing to the eye, while also containing fantastic stories inside that have you hooked throughout. Blaedel is a pro at not only including a fantastic case (usually some form of murder mystery or missing persons event) but drawing you in with her reoccurring characters and their personal lives as well. While I believe this is her most gorgeous cover to date and this entry had a lot of things going for it, The Lost Woman wasn’t quite up to par with what I have come to expect from a Louise Rick book.
Once again, the author has created an atmospheric and almost cinematic backdrop for our story; it’s one of the things I love most about reading her books. I always feel like I’m immediately consumed by another world, and there is always a dark and heavy oppression that is commonly felt with these nordic noir novels. I was lucky enough to have a chunk of time to pick this up while my kids napped on a day with nasty weather; talk about a perfect time to read noir! Three hours later, my kids were waking up and I had finished the entire book. I can’t speak for everyone, but my problems did not lie within the pacing or the ability to hold my attention throughout.
If you are a fan of the series, you will likely still find these components in tact and enjoy the comfort and familiarity of Louise as a professional, but my problems mainly stemmed from her relationship with Eik. I found many of the same issues with this section as my friend Melissa (find her review HERE), mainly in the lack of credibility given to L & E’s relationship and the issues that arise. Here we have a couple who the author has slowly brought together and are currently in a happy, healthy relationship. After a turn of events in this book however, it made me wonder how happy and healthy it truly could be after the actions and reactions surrounding their personal relationship here. I understand people hide secrets and that some books focus on unearthing those, but that wasn’t the set up for this situation; it was more just a lack of communication between the two that felt, well… awkward.
The case and mystery surrounding “the lost woman” was fairly strong in my opinion, and while I felt the ending was slightly underwhelming, it was well written and riddled with emotion and some seriously thought-provoking content. Those with a trigger for things related to suicide may want to skip this one, although it’s not overly graphic as a topic. Even with the issues I had relating to this story, I still feel Blaedel is a strong author that I will continue to follow, as I love this series dearly and want to see where she takes it. Fans of the series will still find a comfortable familiarity with Louise in this book and will appreciate some of the loose ends from previous books being wrapped up. Overall, really glad I read this one and did enjoy it; I just wished for more dialogue between Louise and Eik (as Melissa mentioned above) and hope to see some sort of progression in their personal life moving forward.
*Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Abby @CrimeByTheBook for putting this one on my radar!