CALL ME PRINCESS – Sara Blaedel

” Blaedel has created an original, fast-paced plot featuring a strong female character and the timely topic of what can go wrong when one looks for love online. This will be popular among fans of Scandinavian writers such as HAkan Nesser, Kjell Eriksson, and Camilla Lackberg as well as readers who enjoy police procedurals set in foreign countries.”

Library Journal

” The detective’s personal tribulations and her predictable problems with police administrators superficially counterpoint Stieg Larsson’s “men who hate women” theme, while hinting at current social issues like Muslim immigration. Blaedel is best at probing the burgeoning tendency of the cyberworld to outcompete reality, where online relationships, like drug-induced visions, may seem deeper and far more intimate than genuine ones, only to vanish, leaving behind profound pain and sorrow. (Sept.) ”

Publisher’s Weekly

These are the final lines in two reviews of CALL ME PRINCESS, the first mystery by Sara Blaedel to be translated into English.  Set in Copenhagen, it is, as are so many of the Nordic mysteries, about the brutal treatment of women by men on all levels of society.  Susanna Hansson is brutally assaulted by a man she meets through the internet.  The lead investigator on the case is Louise Rick, who finds herself being pulled into the world of computer dating.

CALL ME PRINCESS is a well-written, interesting mystery and I look forward to reading other books in the series.  If there is a problem with the book it is that readers, through these reviews, are being led to expect something other than what they will find.  CALL ME PRINCESS is Nordic lite.  It isn’t fair to the author to suggest that this book and this female protagonist is a sister to Lisbeth Salandar.  It would be better to allow the reader to meet Louise Rick on her own terms.  Lisbeth is unique in fiction; I would’t want too many Lisbeths, women damaged almost being repair.  Sara Blaedel is an author worth reading because she is good.

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6 Responses to CALL ME PRINCESS – Sara Blaedel

  1. Thanks for this Beth.
    Only recently there was a discussion in one of the forums about the ways that different societies treat their weakest members. General consensus was that in the ‘developed’ world women probably don’t qualify as the weaker gender any longer.
    I haven’t read any Scandinavian fiction lately and the suggestion that women are particularly badly treated in that part of the world surprised me. Amazed me. Upset me, even.
    I’ll need to do some research into this.
    Thanks again.
    Mira
    Simon Grant Mysteries

  2. Beth says:

    Mira, the Millenium trilogy is about the abusive treatment of women. Lisbeth Salander punishes men for the abuse she experienced. It is interesting that a great deal of the work done by the writers from the Nordic writers deals with the power disparity between the genders and about the echoes of fascism through the resurgence of neo-Nazism.

    Women are still treated as possessions in much of the world. Spousal abuse is a significant problem everywhere no matter how sophisticated the society. Most women do not have the financial resources to get themselves out of an abusive relationship especially if they are married to the abuser. What is truly disturbing is the number of females, still teenagers, who are in abusive relationships with boyfriends. One of the great mysteries of the world is why why women stay but the most dangerous period for an abused woman is after they get an order of protection, a restraining order. Although it is getting better, the judicial system has a history of treating spousal abuse as something between the two people in the marriage.

    • Mira Brown says:

      I very much agree, Beth.
      I’ve seen examples of all that fist hand through work.
      However, I was under the impression that due to generous government benefits from birth, Scandinavian women were considerably more independent than anywhere else in Europe. Admittedly, I haven’t looked into it in quite a while. But, I will do.

      • Beth says:

        One of the saddest aspects of violence toward women is that the men know the kind of women with whom to be involved. Some of the safest abusers are men who are professionals, wealthy, and have a solid social standing in the community. The women have more to lose by leaving, especially if there are children involved. If the abuser goes to court and it goes on the public record, he is likely to lose customers, patients, clients and that will effect the financial security of her children. It could be that the abusers belong to the same clubs, alumni associations, churches, gyms as the judges. The deck is very much stacked against the women.

        A few years ago, a woman in my community was brutally murdered by her husband when she began divorce proceedings. She did everything correctly, following the steps as directed by her attorney. There was a protection order in place and he knew if he violated it he would go to jail. He didn’t care. He murdered her while their seven year-old son watched. She has financial independence and the support of her family.

  3. Maxine says:

    You should also try Liza Marklund, in particular Paradise (I believe it is being given a new title when it is re-translated for publication next year). Her Annika Bengstrom novels are great about abuse & sexism in the media and everywhere in Sweden. I have not yet read Call me Princess but it is on my list. It is out in PB in the UK next year so will be a bit cheaper then.

  4. Beth says:

    CALL ME PRINCESS is a very good book. I have read Liza Marklund and Annika is a stronger and more fleshed-out character than Louise. Not being a writer, I can only assume that the writer has more latitude in the action if the protagonist is a journalist rather than a police officer.

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