Publish Date: January 7, 2015
‘The Forgotten Girls’ is a good addition to the Scandinavian mysteries that are being translated for English readers currently. Blaedel has been writing them prior to their recent popularity and if Goodreads is accurate it looks like there are a few installments prior to ‘The Forgotten Girls’ surrounding Louise Rick’s friend Camilla Lind we will need to learn about as well. I believe this is the first book where Louise Rick is in the spotlight. It is a fast paced mystery centered around the story of a mysterious woman who is found dead in one of Denmark’s forests. What makes her distinguishable is a large scar on her face, but no one can identify her. For a woman in her thirties someone should know her if not trying to find her.
Louise Rick has recently been put in charge of a new missing persons department. She has a lot to prove in an office of men where the only other woman is the secretary. The secretary doesn’t want her there and seems to have a grudge against her for unknown reasons. Louise has been assigned a detective, Eik, who has a reputation for great solves. She, however, had to scoop him off the floor of a bar his first day…in the morning. To say she is concerned is an understatement. When Louise learns that her missing person’s case will take her back home she is forced to deal with personal issues she would rather leave buried.
Louise’s boyfriend committed suicide when she was young. They had just moved in with one another and Louise, unable to cope with the loss, ran away. She built a life for herself and her son, away from her home town, with a supportive neighbor, her parents, and close friend Camille. Through the years she didn’t deal with the loss and when the young missing woman is identified as a young disabled girl who was committed to a mental institution that leads to clues in her hometown Louise gets dragged back. She must investigate it’s connection to a string of rapes and murders and the missing person/persons Lisemette. Stranger still Lise and Mette, known as Lisemette, were buried 30 years ago. How can the dead woman they found possibly have death certificates for 30 years back?
Blaedel’s story is fascinating. I wonder if some of the story has been lost in translation. There are pieces of the book that are amazing. They make you feel you are in the moldy detectives office and the woods. Others aren’t executed or translated as well. The flow seems disjointed or transitions to quickly. I enjoyed the book, especially the parts including Eliselund, the mental hospital, and Lisemette. I was left wanting to know more about what happened to Louise’s boyfriend and hope that we get more information in the next installment. I would definitely read more by Blaedel. That being said I think the editor may want to work with some portions to ensure the translation matches the original work and/or smooth out a few rough spots.
I received ‘The Forgotten Girls’ from Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for an honest review.