Monday, January 5, 2015

The Forgotten Girls (Louise Rick / Camilla Lind #7) by Sara Blaedel - Review

The Forgotten Girls
(Louise Rick/Camilla Lind #7)
by Sara Blaedel
Expected publication: February 3, 2015
by Grand Central Publishing

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 review: 
When the body of an unidentified woman is found, the case is turned over to Louise Rick and her new partner, Eik. When they uncover the woman's identity, they are shocked to find out a death certificate had been issued for her 30 years ago. They also discover another death certificate for her twin, and there are reasons to believe that if one death certificate was a fake, the other is as well. So now Louise is looking for the dead woman's twin and why there was a fake death certificate issued. The area surrounding where the body was found was where Louise grew up, so memories from her past come flashing back to her as she investigates. Along the way, she is forced to face many things she would rather forget. 

According to Goodreads, this was first published in 2011 in another language. As another reviewer mentioned, I too wonder if something got lost in translation. The main underlying mystery was an intriguing plot. I also appreciate Louise's past connections with the suspects; however, I felt that too much of Louise's current and past life was included for very little reason. As this is part of a series, it may make more sense if all of the books were read, but a lot of it seemed to be unnecessary when just reading this book alone. I also thought the intimate relationship between Louise and Eik seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought. I think it is fine that it is there, and it does add something interesting to the plot, but it needed to be a bit more developed. The mystery itself, though, was fascinating, and I needed to keep reading to unravel the story concerning the twins. So, while I do think the story is good, I think it didn't really flow very well and parts of it either needed to be more developed or incorporated more smoothly. If you enjoy mysteries, you may enjoy this book. However, if you like a faster-paced story, you may find yourself frustrated with this one.

About the author:
Sara Blaedel (aka Sarah Bl├Ždel) is one of Denmark's most successful crime writers, the author of the bestselling series of novels featuring police detective Louise Rick.

Sara has come full circle from her childhood days of hearing her mother read Agatha Christie aloud. "It brings me peace to know that it all began with crime fiction as a child, and that it is there, after a thousand detours, that I have landed again. As a child I found peace in crime novels, and it is with them that I find peace today. There has been some turbulence along the way, but I wouldn't have avoided any of it. I wouldn't have reached the place I have without all of it happening." And that place Sara has reached includes seven published novels with an eighth on the way. Her novels are published in seventeen countries and appear in fifteen languages, and the film rights have been optioned. Her hard work and determination have branded her the "Queen of Crime" in Denmark.

Today, Sara lives north of Copenhagen with her family. She has always loved animals; she still enjoys horse riding and shares her home with her cat and golden retriever. When she isn't busy committing brutal murders on the page, she is an ambassador with Save the Children and serves on the jury of a documentary film competition.

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