This is the first of Ms. Blaedel’s Louise Rick series to be translated into English. This is the second Danish crime novel I’ve read in the last couple of months (the other one was The Keeper of Lost Causes by Adler-Olsen) and I have to say, they both have a way with torture. In Call Me Princess the torture is in the form of brutal rapes.

Louise Rick is a detective in Copenhagen and is tasked with finding a serial rapist who preys on women using online dating services.

The mystery was good, the characters were good, I liked Louise. The story as a whole seemed too pat or too glossed over. For example, Louise goes on the online dating site to try to meet the rapist to catch him, and she finds him right off the bat. They meet straight away and it happens so fast that the end seemed really anticlimactic. Especially since the beginning chapters are filled with loads of suspense and terrible rape. The way the book ends seems too fast and easy. Of course, that’s probably how detective work really goes down: There’s a bad guy. Find him so we can be safe again! There he is! Arrest him. Done.

The B story of Louise and her boyfriend seemed kind of clunky. I didn’t mind because I think I was too distracted by the rape. It really got me thinking though, I couldn’t think of a single American crime fiction book I’ve read that was this rape-y.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was pretty rape-y as well. There is a social message in these Scandi crime books about how women are perceived/treated/raped and the violence and cruelty is absolutely shocking. I’m not sure what the American equivalent would be. I kind of hope there’s not one, but I’m sure there is.

I have to give the author credit though, the beginning chapters were very suspenseful and had my stomach in knots. She really made me think about the dangers of online dating, as well as the horrors of torture rape, which, is something I’ve never thought about before because why would I?

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the second book in the series because I am interested to see what happens to Louise.

Afterthought: The title was kind of meh.

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