Farewell to Freedom: A Novel

( 2 )

Overview

A shocking murder and a foundling baby reveal a perverse criminal underworld stretching across Europe.A young woman’s body is found on the street in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district, her throat slit, and the media is clamoring for the grisly details. Louise assumes it is because Camilla, a crime reporter on a morning paper, wants to be the first to hear of any juicy new developments. Instead, her distraught friend reveals that her eleven-year-old son found an abandoned baby on his way to school.As Louise digs ...
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Farewell to Freedom: A Novel

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Overview

A shocking murder and a foundling baby reveal a perverse criminal underworld stretching across Europe.A young woman’s body is found on the street in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district, her throat slit, and the media is clamoring for the grisly details. Louise assumes it is because Camilla, a crime reporter on a morning paper, wants to be the first to hear of any juicy new developments. Instead, her distraught friend reveals that her eleven-year-old son found an abandoned baby on his way to school.As Louise digs deeper into the murder and the mysterious foundling, every uncovered clue points to organized human trafficking from Eastern Europe, run by ruthless gangsters who despise women and won’t hesitate to kill anyone who gets in their way . . .
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Editorial Reviews

Karin Slaughter
“Blaedel is no trend. She is a remarkable crime writer who time and again delivers an engaging story that any reader in the world can enjoy.”
Camilla Läckberg
“Blaedel is at the top of her game. Louise Rick is a character who will have readers coming back for more.”
Publishers Weekly
In Blaedel’s gloomy third procedural to be published in the U.S. (after 2012’s Only One Life), the police investigation into the death of a young woman in Copenhagen’s disreputable Skelbaekgade neighborhood is met with indifference from potential witnesses desensitized by drugs, alcohol, and hard living. Det. Louise Rick’s journalist friend, Camilla Lind, fights for coverage of the case, but is understandably sidetracked when her 11-year-old son discovers an abandoned baby in a church. Louise and Camilla trace both cases back to the sinister Bosko, who profits from war tourism and human trafficking alike. Flat writing suits a determinedly bleak landscape, but does not inspire, and the intriguing possibilities of Blaedel centering this gritty thriller on female friendship go mostly unexplored. The novel succeeds best in brief, haunting portraits of Copenhagen’s downtrodden: immigrants, failures, and the chronically unlucky. The tough narrative voice curbs sentiment. (Dec.)
Camilla Lackberg
“Blaedel is at the top of her game. Louise Rick is a character who will have readers coming back for more.”
Booklist
“An eerily realistic thriller that crackles with crisp prose and steady suspense.”
Library Journal
In the third book in the Det. Louise Rick series (Only One Life), the brutal murder of a young Eastern European woman leads Rick and her colleagues at the Copenhagen Police Department into the disturbing world of prostitution and human trafficking. At the same time, Camilla Lund, an investigative journalist and Rick's friend, calls her about a baby girl found abandoned in a church. Another murder traumatizes Camilla so much that she quits her job at the newspaper, but she and Rick realize that both cases may be linked when a second abandoned infant is discovered. VERDICT Blaedel once again tackles a current social issue in her mystery. The two parallel stories are equally compelling, with the end of the case leading the reader to believe that Rick's life will be changed forever. Recommended for series fans and readers of Scandinavian crime fiction. Blaedel was voted Denmark's most popular novelist for the third time in 2011.—Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY
Kirkus Reviews
A low-voltage police thriller with predictable twists and turns riffs off the current rage for Scandinavian-based noir crime fiction. Blaedel continues the adventures of Copenhagen police detective Louise Rick in this tepid installment centering on the overlapping worlds of prostitution and human trafficking. Rick, assigned to investigate the killing of a young woman believed to be an Eastern European prostitute found with her throat slashed in a city alleyway, gets a taste of what life on the streets is like for the hundreds of young women who make their ways to her city from places like Serbia and Croatia. Meanwhile, as Louise settles into the investigation, her best friend since high school, Camilla Lind, a crack reporter for a top newspaper, receives a call from her son that he and a friend of his have found a tiny baby in a church. Camilla rushes over to the church and assists police with the baby, then pitches her editor a story on Louise's murder case. Although her editor is less impressed with the murder than the baby's discovery, he reluctantly gives the go-ahead and soon Camilla, too, is deeply invested in the case of the dead young woman. Between Louise and Camilla, they enter a shadowy world where women are brought to Denmark and turned into sex slaves against their wills, working for pimps who abuse and sometimes kill them. As the two women discover, there is more than meets the eye in this case and the people they meet during the course of the investigation; things grow dangerous and Camilla finds herself inadvertently thrust into harm's way. Hampered by a clunky translation, both the novel and the investigation are slow paced and populated with uninspiring characters that make the book a dull read. Fans of the genre will not find this stripped-down, by-the-numbers plot and its shallow characters very mesmerizing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605985275
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 2/6/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 675,367
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sara Blaedel is the author of the international bestselling series featuring Detective Louise Rick and journalist Camilla Lind, including Call Me Princess and Only One Life. Her books are published in seventeen countries. She lives in Copenhagen, and was voted Denmark's most popular novelist for the third time in 2011.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A murdered woman. An abandoned newborn... Sara Blaedel was vote

    A murdered woman. An abandoned newborn...

    Sara Blaedel was voted as Denmark’s most popular novelist three times in a row. That’s no surprise. When it comes to police procedural, she’s always been one of my favorites. 

    “Farewell to Freedom” is from #1 international bestselling author Sara Blaedel. Unlike a good number of writers I read in the crime genre who try to sex-up the victimization of women, Blaedel’s portrayals are straight-on ugly. The story opens with a violently murdered woman and, across town, a found newborn. Though set in Copenhagen, the crimes could happen anywhere; there is a Kodboderne Street in every city of the world. As usual, Blaedel handles multiple storylines well and eventually blends them together. Blaedel’s portrayal of the slimy underworld side of humanity reads so realistically – syndicated crime, child abandonment, human trafficking – I found myself pondering at moments how active (or safe) she was in her research. She writes with the authority of first-person observation.

    This novel is part of the series featuring Detective Louise Rick and reporter Camilla Lind. These two make a great partnership in crime fighting. “Farewell to Freedom” is the fourth Rick / Lind novel, but only the third to be published in the United States. Though part of a series, I think reading it as a standalone works as well as reading it in chronological order.

    Kudos to Erik J. Macki and Tara F. Chace for an excellent translation from Danish.
    - Clay Stafford, author, filmmaker, and founder of Killer Nashville

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  • Posted December 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Darker Than Pre­vi­ous Books

    Farewell to Free­dom by Sara Blædel is a fic­tional book in a series fea­tur­ing Copen­hagen detec­tive Louise Rick and her friend Camilla Lind, a reporter. This is the third novel trans­lated to Eng­lish writ­ten by the best sell­ing Dan­ish author.

    A woman is found with her throat bru­tally slashed, police­woman Louise Rick and her col­leges from the Copen­hagen Police start to inves­ti­gate. Dur­ing the begin­ning of the inves­ti­ga­tion, Louise gets a phone call from her jour­nal­ist friend, Camilla Lind, who is deeply shaken after find­ing a baby aban­doned in a church.

    The clues point to pros­ti­tutes of Copen­hagen, but the inves­ti­ga­tion stum­bles upon the vio­lent world of Balkan under­ground human traf­fick­ing, exploita­tion of women, cyn­i­cal pimps and one vicious crim­i­nal with no morals or mercy.

    Farewell to Free­dom by Sara Blædel is darker than the pre­vi­ous books I read in the series. Pre­vi­ously Ms. Blædel explored drugs, honor killings, online dat­ing and more. This time how­ever the author turns her sights on pros­ti­tu­tion and traf­fick­ing women.

    The book is very well writ­ten and it seemed to me that the author has upped a notch her research and sto­ry­telling. I was sur­prised that instead of writ­ing fal­lac­ies and inac­cu­ra­cies, as many oth­ers do, Ms. Blædel exam­ined the issues objec­tively and inserted them into her novel. For exam­ple, the point that few pros­ti­tutes are vic­tims of traf­fick­ing (even though I’m sure we can all agree that even one is too many).

    The police pro­ce­dural parts of the novel seem real­is­tic – gray, bor­ing, futile but nec­es­sary. This adds a touch of real­ism and does not dis­tract or slow down the story which becomes per­son­ally involv­ing the two heroines.

    The world Ms. Blædel has cre­ated is becom­ing more com­plex with each book where to bad guys don’t always wear black and good guys don’t always win. The author did a great job telling this tale; her char­ac­ters got a new per­spec­tive on life and I’m look­ing for­ward to see if this ele­ment changed the energy in the con­tin­u­a­tion of the series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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