The Copenhagen Affair
Amulya Malladi

Lake Union Publishing 2017 Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-503940314

Reading The Copenhagen Affair is like savoring chocolate ice cream — until you discover it’s really artificial flavored. Amulya Malladi’s romance novel likewise tempts, offers charm, and a fascinating and fact-filled tour of Copenhagen, but the plot is farfetched. 

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“. . . keeps the reader in suspense to the end.”

Sanya and husband Harry move from California to Copenhagen to negotiate on behalf of his Silicon Valley consultancy the purchase of a European firm. Sanya has just suffered a nervous breakdown and her husband thinks the change will help in her recovery.  

On her first outing in Copenhagen she encounters a man, Anders Raven, with a hideous scar on his face. He walks up to her up to her in a coffee shop and asks if she is preoccupied with something. She falls immediately in love with Anders, only to learn later at an embassy dinner that Andres owns the company her husband is interested in acquiring. Sanya, a former financial strategist, secretly examines the company’s ledgers and finds it not as solid as projected.  

Sanya’s attraction to the married Anders and Copenhagen’s wealthy crowd begins to worry Harry, who has long taken her for granted. This all leads to a conclusion both dramatic and implausible, but still entertaining, and if the reader is interested in what is fashionable, there’s a lot of name-dropping, from Denmark dinnerware designers to French clothing and accessories.

Malladi, who says she too suffers depression, provides valuable insight through her character into the plight of depressed people. She portrays Sanya as the perfect wife and employee who then “started to crave jagged lines and disorder,” “say the unsaid things” and “to feel everything at a time when she felt nothing.” It’s also definitely a feel-good book, as any romance should be, and Malladi skillfully keeps the reader in suspense to the end.  

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Review by Kate Padilla