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Posted April 11, 2013
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
Posted December 14, 2012
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.