One book a day: “The Murder of Women” by Pascal Engmann

Today we report on an excellent suspense film, written by a Swedish novelist who became the best-selling mystery and thriller prose writer of his generation, born in 1986 and considered a “rising star”, translated in more than twenty other countries, with a series focusing on excellent policewoman, Vanessa Frank. Femited is a novel on the list of the best crime novels of 2019, according to Gutenberg-Posten, which was nominated by Storytel and Adlibris for the title of best crime novel of 2019.

But at first we feel compelled to explain at least two terms that reveal the harsh realities of the novel.

The term femicide or femicide refers to a specific type of murder in which a man kills a woman, a girl, or a girl because she is a woman. Unlike other types of crime, femicides usually occur in the home as a result of gender-based violence. They are also categorized as hate crimes because they occur in a context in which a female has been stigmatized for years. Femicide is the most severe manifestation of abuse and violence from men to women, dictionaries say. It is estimated that around 66,000 female homicides are committed each year in the world. According to Diana Russell, who is credited with popularizing the word “femicide,” some of the main drivers of these crimes are anger, hatred, jealousy, and the pursuit of pleasure.

Serial femicide is sometimes attributed to pornography, especially violence. From a gender perspective, this may be due to the normalization of violence that occurs in these works of fiction. However, this relationship has not yet been proven. It is possible that the use of these substances is not a qualifying factor for the commission of crimes, but is part of the preparation process through the act of delusion in relation to rape and murder.

Femicides almost always respond to hatred or contempt for women, to sexual pleasure in the act of controlling the woman, and/or the desire to possess, which means that the killer perceives the woman as the property of men. Either way, it’s a hate crime.

For this reason, femicide is the result of a process that has been preceded by other forms of mistreatment of women, whether incidental or recurrent, and carried out by an unknown person or an acquaintance. Forms of abuse include: rape, psychological violence, obstruction of women’s free development and independence, sexual slavery, physical abuse, domestic violence, torture, mutilation, mutilation, persecution, denial of communication, and deprivation of liberty. But not every crime committed by a woman counts as femicide. For example, if a woman was killed resisting an attack or was killed by another woman, this does not apply to femicide.

To classify the murder of a woman as femicide, there must be a motive derived from the belief in the subordination of the female sex to the man, and therefore only the man can be the one who commits the crime. In other words, there must be a power relationship associated with sex.

Another term we need to explain – which appears in the novel – is “incel” (from “involuntary celibacy”), an online movement of tens of thousands of men united by forms of misogyny. Extremists and whose members are responsible for thousands of crimes against women, just because they are women.

The editors wrote: “Emily, aged 25, was found dead in her apartment in northern Stockholm. For Vanessa Frank, the case seems clear as day. However, there is something about the prime suspect that gives the impression to Vanessa that they are missing a very important detail.

Meanwhile, the city increasingly enforces a malicious network of involuntary “sloth” singles who want to punish women and who live in the darkest corners of the Internet, united by violent misogyny. Does Emily’s murder have anything to do with this secret network?

The evidence is unclear and investigators and victims alike are blinded by bias. But when Vanessa finds out that a festival exclusively for women will take place in Stockholm, the race against the clock begins at a crazy pace.”

Pascal Engmann – Murder of Women. Translated by Mehnia Arion. Crime Scene Press Publishing House. 445 pages.

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