cover image The Killing Forest

The Killing Forest

Sara Blaedel, trans. from the Danish by Mark Kline. Grand Central, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4555-8154-2

A missing-persons case gets personal for Det. Insp. Louise Rick in Danish bestseller Blaedel’s engrossing fifth series mystery to be published in the U.S. (after 2015’s Forgotten Girls). Sune Frandsen, a 15-year-old boy, has disappeared in the woods near Hvalsø, on the property of Camilla Lind, Louise’s journalist friend. Louise’s first great love, Klaus, who apparently hanged himself years earlier, belonged to a group of young men, including Sune’s father, who practiced rituals inspired by old Norse religious beliefs. When a dead prostitute is found near the sacred oak where these men still meet, Louise becomes certain that Sune witnessed her murder and is in grave danger himself. She also suspects that Klaus’s death wasn’t a suicide and that the cultists had a hand in that as well. Now she just has to get someone to talk. Blaedel nicely balances the twisted relationships of the cult members with the true friendships of Louise, Camilla, and their circle. (Feb.)