cover image The Lake

The Lake

Lotte and Søren Hammer, trans. from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund. Bloomsbury, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63286-749-0

At the outset of the Hammers’ searing fourth thriller featuring Det. Supt. Konrad Simonsen (after 2016’s The Vanished), sex trafficker Benedikte Lerche-Larsen and her confederate, illiterate hit man Henrik Krag, drive into the country north of Copenhagen with a frightened passenger in their car—a young Nigerian brothel worker known as Jessica, who has been disobedient. Jessica knows that if she tries to flee, she can expect no help from the Danish police, who will simply send her back to Nigeria. They stop at an isolated cabin, where Krag administers a torture beating that goes too far. The killers dispose of Jessica’s body, weighted with a granite block, in a nearby lake. Six months later, a hunting dog at the lake retrieves a skull, and soon Simonsen and his team are on the trail of a prostitution ring that preys on kidnapped African teenagers, ostensibly offering jobs as au pairs in Danish households. The Hammers (a brother-sister writing team) expose the moral turpitude of a country lacking a national law that criminalizes the buying of sex. [em]Agent: Sofie Voller, Gyldendal (Denmark). (July) [/em]