Primary Genre(s): Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Published: 23 March 2021 by St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books
Page count: 320 (hardcover)
My Format: eBook/ARC via NetGalley
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy The Lost Village
My rating: ★★★★☆
Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt has been obsessed with the vanishing residents of the old mining town, dubbed “The Lost Village,” since she was a little girl. In 1959, her grandmother’s entire family disappeared in this mysterious tragedy, and ever since, the unanswered questions surrounding the only two people who were left—a woman stoned to death in the town center and an abandoned newborn—have plagued her. She’s gathered a small crew of friends in the remote village to make a film about what really happened.
But there will be no turning back.
Not long after they’ve set up camp, mysterious things begin to happen. Equipment is destroyed. People go missing. As doubt breeds fear and their very minds begin to crack, one thing becomes startlingly clear to Alice:
They are not alone.
They’re looking for the truth…
But what if it finds them first?
This was a wonderfully atmospheric novel with just enough psychological intrigue to keep it interesting and thrilling. Here are my pros and cons for The Lost Village:
- The world-building was top-notch. I felt like I was walking around in the lost village of Silvertjärn along with the characters in the book. From the abandoned houses and buildings to the surrounding areas like the river, the place felt remarkably familiar almost immediately. The descriptions of this abandoned mining village were detailed without being verbose and the atmosphere that is established from the very beginning created a strong foundation for the story.
- The story is presented in a past and present narrative, which I though was highly effective. I am not always a fan of the past/present narrative format because I do not think it always works. However, I think it worked very well in this story. The transitions between time periods were seamless and both narratives communicated the necessary details of the story brilliantly.
- There were some tense scenes in this novel! There was an incredible buildup of dread and fear about what was happening. The supernatural feel of the story was palpable.
- Some of the characters from the past story were disturbing to the extreme.
- The pacing was great. There was always something happening and I stayed up reading long after I should have gone to bed!
- I thought the characterizations (present day) were weak. The female characters making the present-day documentary (Alice, Tone, and Emmy) all had backstories that weren’t fully developed at all. I felt no real connection to them and I really wanted to understand a little bit more about their issues and relationships. There was just not enough character development for me to be interested in them personally, even if I was interested in what was going on.
- The men in the present-day narrative were essentially irrelevant to the story. They had almost zero character development.
This was a great story in a great setting and I loved the premise. As a matter of fact, what happened to this village was horrific and disturbing and incredibly sad. What happens to the documentary filmmakers is disturbing as well. I was captivated by the story, but not the present-day characters. If the characters working on the documentary had been fleshed out a little bit more, I think it would have been a 5-star book for me.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for a free eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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