The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel

killing
The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (308 pages)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

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.

A compelling, spine-tingling read!

By the time I finished the first chapter, I was outraged at the despicable way mean men had treated one of the men’s son and the woman. Besides all that, they’d done it in the name of a religious rite. I needed some “good people” quick to set things right.

I’d not read previous Sara Blaedel’s Louise Rick novels. I was not acquainted with the characters. But it really didn’t matter. Enough back-story was blended as the plot unfolded to give insight. Louise and Erik, her partner now, are with the Special Search Agency of the police. They are soon hot and heavy after the scary men who did those unspeakable deeds at the huge, old sacrifice tree in the forest. The things they uncover and discover are chilling.

Sara Baedel’s writing style is so realistic, so grim, so graphic at times one shudders and wants to shut the book; BUT how can one stop reading without knowing how these arrogant antagonists get their comeuppance?

Every time Elinor, the old woman in the forest, says, “The wagons are rolling on the death trail,” a foreboding chill ran through me.

While I knew the gods’ names in Norse mythology, I knew little else; so this fictional account was a real eye-opener—enough fact to make the fiction believable.

While the suspense and mystery is afoot, the reader gets to know Louise Rick. She is smart, resilient, determined, and loves her foster son as if he were her own, but carries a load of guilt about the death of her first love, Klaus. How her quilt is eased and how it related to the major plot intrigues.

Sara Blaedel’s characters, especially the “bad” ones, and multifaceted plot make page-turning, breath-holding reading.

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