I received an ARC of The Forgotten Girls in exchange for this review. This has not affected the opinions expressed in this review in any way. The Forgotten Girls will be released tomorrow, February 3, 2015 in hardcover and ebook formats.
Louise Rick, the new director of the Missing Persons Department, is mystified. Four days ago, a woman’s body was found in the woods. A large, distinctive scar that covers half of her face all the way down to her shoulder should have made her easy to identify, but no one has reported her missing. Desperate, she gives the photo to the media despite her misgivings—and her gamble pays off. A woman calls, identifying the dead woman as a young girl named Lisemette, who she had cared for in a mental institution. But the woman adds that Lisemette had a twin—and both girls were issued death certificates over thirty years ago.
Now, Louise must figure out what happened to the other girl, and who would have issued death certificates to one or more young women who weren’t dead. The search takes her back to her childhood home, and in addition to the difficulties of the search for the truth about what happened to Lisemette, Louise must confront the demons that she’s worked so hard to repress.
The Forgotten Girls is actually the seventh in the Louise Rick series by Danish author Sara Blaedel. Unfortunately, only the second, third, fourth, and now seventh books are translated to English, but luckily, each novel stands on its own (think of Nelson DeMille’s John Corey series or James Patterson’s Alex Cross)—or else I would have had to learn Danish!
I really enjoyed The Forgotten Girls. I particularly liked Louise as a character: she’s a deeply flawed workaholic, impatient and brusque, a don’t-take-no-shit-from-nobody type—think a grittier Olivia Benson, minus the shiny hair and perfectly applied eyeliner. She does her best to quash her demons, but as demons are wont to do, they come creeping up at the worst times until Louise forces herself to face them, and discovers that maybe she is strong enough to deal with them after all.
The story was gripping, with all the little threads tying together at the end (except for one small piece, which I’m guessing will be the topic of the next book!). The Forgotten Girls paints quite a disturbing picture of the often inhumane practices that took place at mental institutions only a few decades ago, especially the way parents were encouraged to basically write their children off after institutionalizing them. It’s understandable that the caretakers wanted to upset the children as little as possible, and I can see how parents visiting their children—and then having to leave—could create behavior issues, but it’s still so sad that that was the common thing to do back then.
The only thing I can take issue with in The Forgotten Girls is one that I always seem to have with books that aren’t written in English originally: they always seem to lose something in translation. This, of course, is not the fault of the book and more the fault of the reader who can’t consume the book in its original language, so I can’t dock any “points” for the awkward phrasing I occasionally encountered. But never fear: the story was exciting enough that it wasn’t hard to overlook the quirks of the translation, so if you’re planning to read this one, don’t let that stop you.
All in all, The Forgotten Girls is a great story, and one that will stick with me for a while.
Welcome to Dog-Eared & Dog-Tagged’s first ever giveaway!
Want to win a hardcover copy of The Forgotten Girls? I bet you do! It was a great read, and one that definitely deserved to be on my list of most-anticipated 2015 releases!
There are several ways you can enter this giveaway. You can:
- Comment on this post.
- Share this post on Facebook (must be shared directly from my Facebook page so I can track it).
- Retweet this tweet:
— Bridget (@thebookishmilso) February 2, 2015
- Reblog this post on Tumblr.
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Each of these methods will earn you one entry, so the more you do, the better chance you have to win! This giveaway will close at 11:59pm, EST on Friday, February 6th, and the results will be announced Saturday, February 7th.
- US only.
- No entries posted after 11:59pm EST on February 6 will be counted.
- Winner will be notified on Saturday, February 7th. If winner does not reply within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected.
- Only followers are eligible. This means that if you share my post on Bloglovin’, you must be following Dog-Eared & Dog-Tagged on Bloglovin’. Same goes for the other outlets. However, you do not have to be following me if you don’t use a particular outlet to share this post; i.e., if you share on Twitter and Facebook, but not on Tumblr, you don’t have to be following me on Tumblr to be eligible. Capisce?