cover image The Lost Woman

The Lost Woman

Sara Blaedel, trans. from the Danish by Mark Kline. Grand Central, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4555-4107-2

At the start of Danish author Blaedel’s disappointing sixth Louise Ricks novel to be published in the U.S. (after 2016’s The Killing Forest), a gunman outside a house in England takes aim through a window at a woman as she’s preparing dinner and shoots her dead. Back in Denmark, Eik Nordstrøm, Rick’s police partner (who’s also her lover), goes out with his dog to a store to buy cigarettes and vanishes—no phone call or text—leaving his dog tied outside the store. The murdered woman turns out to be a Dane, Sofie Parker, who went missing 18 years earlier. That Eik was involved in Sofie’s case may explain his disappearance. Flashbacks to 1996 chart Sofie’s efforts to persuade her mother, who suffers from an incurable illness, not to commit suicide. Blaedel explores the ethical implications of assisted suicide, making it clear where she stands on the issue, but she fails to inject enough urgency and drama into a tale whose plot contrivances demand a large suspension of disbelief from the reader. (Feb.)