Thoughts on: Call Me Princess by Sara Blædel

October 4, 2011

About:
“Call Me Princess” by Sara Blædel is a crime fiction book taking place in Denmark. This is the first book translated by this successful and popular Scandinavian author.

  • 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • ISBN-10: 1605982512

Thoughts on: Call Me Princess by Sara BlædelMy rating for Call Me Princess – 4

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Thoughts:
“Call Me Princess” by Sara Blædel (website | Facebook | Twitter) is a good, solid crime fiction book. I requested this book because I’ve read several crime-fiction novels from Scandinavian authors and sincerely liked them so I figured I’ll read as much as I can before I am forced to learn Danish.

The main character of Louise Rick is real and likeable and even relatable on some level to someone like me. The interaction between the characters (mostly fellow officers, a female best friend and a boyfriend) is comfortable and real. While the rape case is certainly front and center of the narrative, Louise’s personal life was a secondary story.

Instead of being an action novel, most of the story involving the police relies on the descriptions of procedural and solid police work. I do not know how the Copenhagen Police Department works, but the descriptions were interesting and seemed to ring true.

Another sub-plot is the perilous world of online dating, the novel does try to even out the perception but the point-of-view is pretty clear. Personally I think that online dating is a bit better than  a drunkard meeting a stranger in a dark, smoky room filled with other drunks.

As I mentioned, I liked the characterization in the book. Louise, a no nonsense cop, Camilla, her ruthless bitch of a best friend, boyfriends and co-workers.  Besides dealing with her work, Louise must also deal with her media hugging boss, unreasonable supervisors, witnesses who go back on their testimony and more.

I have read several books by Scandinavian authors and the one thing which strikes me as a common denominator with all of them (besides the obscene amounts of coffee and the glorious descriptions of open faced sandwiches) is the way they all depict how women are treated in the northern countries. Many, if not all, of the books try to balance it out with a strong female protagonist, yet I get a strange feeling that these societies have some more issues to explore.
Maybe it’s because many of the stories have an almost identical rape/crime against women scenes?

The book is interesting and a quick read. The story doesn’t tie up all the loose ends, but in this case I don’t mind. Most things in life don’t end up in a neat package (at best a wooden box).

So tell me, have you noticed any patterns in novels from the same country?

Synopsis:
Louise Rick is an Assistant Detective in the Copenhagen PD. Ms. Rick is called to investigate the brutal rape of Susanne Hanson. As the AD investigates she discovers Susanne met her attacker on an online dating site and that she is not the only victim.

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Zohar – Man of la Book

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5 Comments

  • Shilpa October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I haven’t read many Scandinavian novels. So, sorry cannot comment on the pattern. But I liked the story in general and looks like a light read. I liked the cover page a lot! Btw, not sure if it is just my PC, but your post width seems a bit off. Some words are hidden on the right side of the post.

    • zohar October 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment Shilpa, you should try some Scandinavian novels they are very good.
      Thanks for the heads up about the formatting.

  • Julie @ Knitting and Sundries October 6, 2011 at 3:05 am

    I’ve only read a few Scandinavian crime novels. I have issues mainly because the geographical and historical references tend to throw me for a loop (because it’s assumed that the reader already knows what these references are). I like how you qualified the “not everything is tied up in a neat little package” – it’s definitely true that in life, things don’t get tied up neatly, so why go crazy if a book isn’t tied up that way? Great review.

  • Booklover Book Reviews October 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    They do seem to have a hell of a coffee addiction going on there – I don’t think my body could handle that amount of caffeine! I really need to find the time to read more Scandinavian crime fiction…

  • Shivanee @NovelNiche October 10, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    ‘Per­son­ally I think that online dat­ing is a bit bet­ter than a drunk­ard meet­ing a stranger in a dark, smoky room filled with other drunks.’ – My dear Zohar, I had to smile at this, since it summarizes near-perfectly my own thoughts on the subject of online dating. Well said!

    I’ve not yet read a Scandinavian crime novel. My mum is a big fan of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy, and she’s not particularly keen on the crime thriller genre, so that’s a huge endorsement, coming from her. Have you read any of Jo Nesbø’s books? I was intrigued, after hearing him read from, and be interviewed on, ‘The Redbreast’ on the BBC World Service, so I might begin my Scandinavian crime saga with his writing.

    My appreciation, as always, for this thorough and illuminating review! 🙂

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