What looks depressingly like the honor killing of a young Jordanian immigrant takes Louise Rick from the Copenhagen Police Department to a special assignment in the town of Holbæk.
Why would someone strangle a ninth-grade student and sink her body in Udby Cove? At 15, Samra al-Abd wasn’t old enough to have serious enemies; according to her protective parents Ibrahim and Sada, she wasn’t even old enough to have a boyfriend. And surely Benedicta Møller, the friend who reported her missing, couldn’t possibly have hated her enough to kill her or gotten access to the boat that must have been used to dispose of her body. In the absence of any other leads, the Mobile Task Force to which Louise (Call Me Princess, 2011) has been assigned looks inside her family for suspects, even though that’s the last place they’d look if the victim weren’t Muslim. So does Louise’s friend, crime reporter Camilla Lind, whose editor ups the ante further by slapping an incendiary headline on the story she’s struggled to make evenhanded. The only thing that could possibly undermine the assumption that someone in Samra’s family killed her to protect their reputation after she committed some unforgivable sin that Louise has yet to discover is another murder, and that’s exactly what happens when Dicta Møller is found dead. Given the dramatically different crime scenes, it’s hard to believe that the same killer is responsible for both. Yet what are the odds that two murderers are walking the streets of Holbæk targeting schoolgirls?
Conventionally shaped and a bit slow-moving, but distinguished from the increasingly crowded pack of Scandinavian imports by its open-mindedness in handling sensitive material and its respect for the dignity of every single character and viewpoint.