Book Review: The Forgotten Girls (Sara Blaedel)

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A woman, with a large scar on her face, is found dead in the forest in Denmark. This feature should make identifying this woman easy, but there is no missing person’s report to be found; it is as if this woman had been forgotten. Enter Louise Rick, the new commander of the Missing Persons Department. She will not settle until the identity of the woman is found. As Rick follows her leads to an old state-run mental institution, she comes to find some shocking news. There was a young girl with a scar on her face. This young girl had a twin sister. And both girls have been dead for thirty years.

 The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel is the seventh novel in the Louise Rick series. I had no issue reading this novel as a standalone (and lucky for me) since not all of Blaedel’s work are translated into English!  This novel is a classic police procedural set in Denmark. I am not a huge, ride-or-die fan of police procedurals but I feel like Blaedel did a good job in this one. It is filled with twists, turns, and a few red herrings, Blaedel writes a fast-paced, entertaining suspense novel.

The plot opens right in the midst of action; a woman is stumbling through the woods, trying to make an escape. Soon, we realize this woman is the one that has now been found in the woods and the hunt begins to find her identify and locate her family. Detective Louise Rick is leading the case, a woman with her own complex past, and follows a lead to an old state-run mental institution. Once they realize the missing woman’s connection to this institution, they set off trying to find what has happened in the past. As if things could not become any worse, other women are being found in the woods and the surrounding area; raped and beaten. Rick and her team do not have much time to ensure that this person is stopped before another victim is claimed.

I loved the premise for this book and I enjoyed getting to know Louise Rick. I love when the protagonist in the novel is a smart, strong woman. This is my first book by Blaedel and I will surely follow up with more of her work.   Her prose is easy to follow and entertaining; I loved how she was able to work several subplots into the main plot without making it feel too disjointed.

The ending of this novel was great; completely unexpected. I always love a surprise ending and Blaedel does not disappoint.

I would highly recommend this novel if you are a fan of a true police procedural.

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