The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel Review

forgotten girlsThank you to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Judging the cover: I was really drawn to this cover, I love the font and the title as well as the eerie image of a girl in the woods. Thumbs up to this one!

Genre: This is a Scandinavian police procedural adult novel that takes place in Denmark. It could also be classified as a mystery.

Plot from Goodreads: In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick–the new commander of the Missing Persons Department–is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, 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 over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed–and hidden–in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.

My thoughts: I was very excited to read this book based on the synopsis and the cover of the book. I am fascinated by stories that involve institutions, so this sounded like it was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was disappointed for the first 70% of the book. It didn’t really get interesting to me until the last 30% , but when it picked up, I became completely engrossed in the story.

The good: The ending of this book was amazing! I was unable to figure out the “culprit” of the story, which is always a good thing because I love to be surprised. The ending was very chilling and I can’t stop thinking about it. Even though this was book 7 of a series, the author did a good job at bringing the reader up to speed with what was happening in the main character’s life.

The Not So Good: Because this book was translated, I think some things just didn’t carry through the story well. The story is set in Denmark and a lot of places and unusual (to Americans) names were mentioned, which made it very hard to keep track of who they were talking about and where they were going. I also felt the pacing of the book was very slow and it could have been edited a bit more as some things in the story didn’t seem relevant (but could possibly be relevant to the series, which I haven’t read). I didn’t feel like the story focused enough on the missing girls and focused too much on the personal lives of the main characters. I also didn’t really feel like I was able to connect with any of the characters. I was bored with the first 3/4 of this book.

My rating: I had to really think about my rating because I had so many problems with the first 3/4 of it but then the last quarter blew me away. I ended up rating it 3/5 stars and would recommend it to people who enjoy police procedural books.

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