THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS
Four days later, Louise Rick still had no answers. The body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a local forest. Read more...
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More About The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel; Signe Rod GollyOverviewSara Blaedel--Denmark's "Queen of Crime"--brings her #1 bestseller THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS to North America.
THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS
Four days later, Louise Rick still had no answers. The body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a local forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should have made the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. As the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, Louise risks involving the media by releasing a photo of the victim, hoping to find someone who knew her.Louise's gamble pays off: an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago. Aided by her friend journalist Camilla Lind, Louise finds that the investigation takes a surprising and unsettling turn when it brings her closer to her childhood home. And as she uncovers more crimes that were committed--and hidden--in the forest, she is forced to confront a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-11-17
- Reviewer: Staff
In the chilling fourth Louise Rick thriller to be published in the U.S. from Danish bestseller Blaedel (after 2012’s Farewell to Freedom), the former Copenhagen homicide detective craves a fresh start as head of the fledgling Special Search Agency, but the unit’s first case plunges her back into a nightmare she has spent decades struggling to forget. Before the body of a middle-aged woman found in the forest can be identified, a toddler’s cries lead Louise and her enigmatic new partner, Eik Nordstrøm, to a brutally slain babysitter, not far from the first corpse—the very place where a teenage Louise suffered the tragedy that would shape her life. As the dogged investigator and Eik—to whom she finds herself attracted despite his alcoholism and other issues—pursue links to a long-shuttered mental institution, it starts to look as if the past could prove key to catching a present-day monster. The swiftly moving plot and engaging core characters help make up for serviceable prose and a hard-to-swallow denouement. Author tour. (Feb.)BookPage Reviews
Whodunit: Not your little girl anymore
Joakim Zander’s terrific debut, The Swimmer, breaks the mold for Swedish suspense novels, which are so often police procedurals. This trans-global tale hews more closely to John le Carré or Olen Steinhauer than to Henning Mankell or Jo Nesbø. With settings as diverse as Syria, Afghanistan and Langley, Virginia (to name but a few), The Swimmer traces the occasionally intersecting arcs of a spy forced to abandon his infant daughter in the aftermath of an assassination attempt, and a young woman in possession of a lethal secret she has no desire to know. It’s not giving too much away to say that the infant daughter and the young woman are the same person, separated by 33 years. Told largely in the third person, The Swimmer has first-person chapters strewn throughout, authored by the titular “Swimmer,” who also happens to be the aforementioned spy. As spies go, he’s a particularly literate one, and his descriptions are atmospheric and exotic. As is the case with most modern spy novels, there is a focus on terrorism and the ruthlessness of operatives on both sides. This is a first-class debut.
EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY
James Grippando’s latest thriller, Cane and Abe, finds narrator Abe Beckham caught up in what the Brits would call “a spot of bother.” First off, his one-time squeeze turns up murdered, her body dumped in Florida’s alligator-infested Everglades. Beckham immediately becomes a person of interest. He’s elevated to full-on suspect when his wife disappears under suspicious circumstances: First there was the shouting match; then the broken glass from a beer bottle found in the Beckham home that bears traces of his wife’s blood type; then her smashed cell phone, found on a deserted section of Tamiami Trail. And if all that isn’t enough, add to the mix Beckham’s failed lie detector test. Overzealous cops, shady lawyers and a shadowy figure from Florida’s Big Sugar industry round out the cast, and the tangled web they weave seems strategically poised to ensnare Beckham. The surprises never quit coming.
STRANGERS AT A BAR
Heathrow, the business-class lounge. A chance encounter between a wealthy businessman and an attractive woman. A pair of matching martinis. Some small talk: “Married?” he asks. “I’m not,” she replies. “You?” “Yes, unfortunately.” Out of that short interchange, and with the unguarded intimacy of fellow travelers who know that their time together is brief, the pair concoct a whatâ€‘if scenario around the notion of the hastened demise of the businessman’s wife. (We’ve all done this, right?) So begins Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, an intricate tale of murder planned and plans gone hopelessly awry. The narration is always in the first person, but the narrator changes again and again: businessman Ted; his comely martini companion, Lily; Ted’s avaricious wife, Miranda; and, last but not least, a dogged cop named Kimball. All four have dirty secrets, and each is willing to betray at least one of the others to further his or her agenda. There are Hitchcockian overtones, as well as the sort of last-page narrative tweak that would undoubtedly bring a Mona Lisa smile to Sir Alfred’s usually taciturn countenance.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
Scandinavia spawns first-rate mystery novelists the way Japan churns out championship figure skaters. I’ve been a huge fan (of both) for quite some time, but my first exposure to best-selling Danish author Sara Blaedel comes with her latest work, The Forgotten Girls. The title refers to developmentally challenged children whose parents found them to be too much trouble and dropped them off at a government facility, essentially writing them out of their family’s narrative. Two of these forgotten girls were identical twins named Lise and Mette. According to their doctor’s records, they died in childhood, only one minute apart. Problem is, 30 years later, one of their bodies turns up, fully grown, on the rocky shore of a forest lake. If one twin was still alive, is the other one as well? If so, where is she now? And how, if at all, does this death connect with the series of brutal murders that have taken place sporadically in the forest over the years? This is the puzzle that police investigator Louise Rick and journalist Camilla Lind must piece together, hopefully before the killer strikes again. Tautly suspenseful and sociologically fascinating, The Forgotten Girls demonstrates yet again that the finest contemporary suspense fiction emanates from Europe’s snowbound North.