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.
I can’t quite remember why I picked up this book, but I did like the idea of reading something set in Denmark, a place where I have family but may never actually get to visit. Add in that the book itself is a mystery and one about a person in an institution, and I mean, it makes sense why I would have opened the book.
That said, I feel I probably should have started the Louise Rick series at book 1. I’m not saying you need to read the other books to follow the story because you essentially don’t, but I don’t think I could relate to the protagonist as well as I could have if I had read the first book in this series first.
The mystery itself did have a few twists I didn’t see coming, but I feel it fell sort of flat near the climax. It felt forced for lack of a better term. Like, the author wanted to have a pivotal and emotional moment so pasted this specific scene in. And I understand why. The alternative may not have gone as well either. But, I don’t know, I feel that with the ending as it was, it probably wasn’t Blaedel’s best work and most likely not the best book to start with her as a new to you author.
That isn’t to say that this experience has turned me off to the author herself. No, I still want to read more of Blaedel. I also believe that there may have been something missed in translation. So, reading book one of the series may not only help me grasp the protagonist, but also help me with whatever reticence I am going through about this current book itself. All in all, I would read Blaedel, but this book didn’t really grab me all the way.
Final rating: 3/5