Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. This did not effect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

The premise of The Forgotten Girls is one that is fraught with mystery and promise. A woman has been found dead, and the detectives working to identify her discover that she used to be a resident in an institution. They also discover that she was reported dead over thirty years ago, as was her twin sister.

Other cases spring up along the way as well, that may or may not be connected, and that bring up memories for the protagonist, Louise Rick, that she would rather forget.

So here's the thing with this book. It was good. It was gripping. I was completely invested in the mystery of the twin sister "forgotten girls", their ties to a now-defunct institution, and the nature of a mysterious accident that left one permanently scarred with burns.

But I don't know if I would have liked this book more if I had read the other books in the series first. It's billed as a standalone, but there's a lot of time taken up by a secondary character, Camilla, and her wedding planning that I may have enjoyed more if I knew the character from before and thus cared about her. There were a lot of side plots as well that didn't seem necessary, like a romance that came out of left field, and the possible buying of a community garden plot.

The side plot that did work for me was that of Louise's past, specifically what happened to the man she was in love with so many years ago. The ending of The Forgotten Girls sets up a really interesting surprise twist on what both readers and Louise had been led to believe, and I just might follow that thread.

All in all, I would recommend this to readers who like psychological thrillers, and don't mind quite a bit of darkness with very little light. But I wouldn't tell them to rush to put this at the top of their to-be-read list. They can get to it in time, and maybe start with the first book in the series.

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