Sara Blaedel, author of the #1 international bestseller The Forgotten Girls--which was roundly praised as "gripping" with "uncompromising realism" (Washington Post) and "tautly suspenseful" (BookPage)--returns with the thrilling next book in her series featuring police investigator Louise Rick.
Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She's assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend's long-ago death . . .
Louise's investigation takes her on a journey back through time. She reconnects with figures from her past, including Kim, the principal investigator at the Holbaek Police Department, her former in-laws, fanatic ancient religion believers, and her longtime close friend, journalist Camilla Lind. As she moves through the small town's cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.
"Crime-writer superstar Sara Blaedel's great skill is in weaving a heartbreaking social history into an edge-of-your-chair thriller while at the same time creating a detective who's as emotionally rich and real as a close friend." -- Oprah.com
"One of the best I've come across." -- Michael Connelly
"Sara Blaedel is a force to be reckoned with. She's a remarkable crime writer who time and again delivers a solid, engaging story that any reader in the world can enjoy." -- Karin Slaughter
"Will push you to the edge of your seat [then] knock you right off....A smashing success." -- BookReporter
"Blaedel delivers another thrilling novel...Twists and turns will have readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next." -- RT Book Reviews
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 Hvals , 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.