Only One Life by Sara Blaedel is not the first, and won’t be the last, Scandinavian novel that dives into Islamic immigration into an insular Scandinavian country. Inspector Louise Rick and journalist Camilla Lind try to determine if the death of a young, Jordanian girl was a honor killing. Members of Samra’s family are evasive and secretive, making it seem as if they may suspect each other of her death. After Samra’s best friend, a young Denmark girl named Dicta is found dead, the hunt for the killer intensifies.
Both Rick and Lind attempt to break the family’s tight circle, again in different ways. Camilla wants to understand how hard it is for a young immigrant to live between 2 cultures and live her own life while trying to please her family. Louise wants to find out why someone would feel the need to kill a young woman for honor.
Blaedel sensitively moves between cultures as the characters investigate these horrific crimes and shows that making assumptions based on stereotypes is not the best way to run a murder inquiry.
After reading, The Forgotten Girls, I had to read another Blaedel novel. Only One Life was written first and Blaedel evolves as a writer, both novels are fantastic.
Read June 2016