Cover Image: Village of the Lost Girls

Village of the Lost Girls

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Member Reviews

An okay thriller set in the Pyrenees in Spain five years after two local village girls have disappeared without a trace. Then there is a car crash in the area, and one of the missing girls, Ana, walks out of it alive, however the driver has died. But where is the other girl, Lucia? Is the driver the kidnapper? Ana is reticent to give anyone up, saying she actually knows nothing after five years. Inspectors Bain and Campos from Madrid are called in, and they find a close-knit community, unwilling to share it's secrets, even if they harbour a criminal amongst them.
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Slow burn and very atmospheric, but didn't really ever grab my attention plot or character wise. If I'm remembering correctly, this book was a translated piece and perhaps much was lost in translation or the translation was done poorly.
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My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A dark and twisted tale showing the worst in the human condition, all the while still having a glimmer of hope threaded throughout it.

VILLAGE OF LOST GIRLS is the type of book you sit down with and think will take you a few days or a week to read. Then you settle in to realize you aren’t going anywhere until you find out what happens. It is a harrowingly addictive read. In this debut, Martínez gives his readers a crime novel infused with all the nitty-gritty of an investigation we have come to love in classic Nordic Noir but set in a completely different location—Spain.

In the five hundred page thriller, I was captured by not only the depth in which the author went into for the kidnapping case but the layers developed as the tale went on. Martínez explored the various facets of people’s character traits and how they react to certain situations. There isn’t one individual you will meet in these pages that exactly how they seem at a first impression. For that matter, the town itself evolves and becomes more of a character itself.

From beginning to end, there were countless twists, turns, and reveals to keep you flipping the pages. And then there is the end. It completely shocked me, and I am still reeling from the conclusion to this case. I don’t know if I would ever visit Monteperdido after reading this book, but I am glad I was able to read about it here.
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This book  is a "missing children" story set in a Spanish village in the Pyrenees.  Four years after two 11 year old girls disappear, one is found as the survivor in a terrible automobile accident.
She is not entirely forthcoming of the circumstances of the abduction and long imprisonment, and, it seems, every male in the small village comes under suspicion during the investigation.  A team of child abduction specialists are sent from Madrid, and they find a very closed mouth and tightly knit community, making their investigation that much more difficult.
I read this with trepidation, as I am not a fan of child centered mysteries.  I found it overly long and meandering in places, and was tempted to put it aside.  I did persevere, however, and was overall quite disappointed with the conclusion.  I never bonded with the characters, and didn't develop sympathy for their plights.
It is not a book I would recommend, not just because of the child abduction, but because of the meandering style of writing.
That being said, there was much insight into the ethos of a small, isolated village.
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My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book dragging quite a bit at times despite the fact that the overall premise seemed very interesting.  The setting was described in amazing detail and could have added to the mystery.  Unfortunately, the author added unnecessary detail and prattled on until I found myself skipping pages.  There was so much of this book that could have been left out.   The ending was really good but by the time I got there, I had lost all investment in the book.
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The writing is strong and the author does a beautiful job with the setting, creating a strong atmosphere as our back drop. However, I struggled with this one. I am not a slow burn kinda reader. I enjoy books that grab me from the beginning and don’t let go. The story just didn’t feel original either-two girls go missing and only one returns. I feel like it has been done so many time before. It wasn’t a bad book by any means just not really my style.
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An atmospherically beautiful novel.  However, keep in mind that this is quite the slow burn of a story. I found myself struggling through certain parts and putting the book down.  Something kept pulling me back to the story though.

What I loved best was that, while slow, you never got a good sense of who the culprit was.  Once you thought you had it figured out, you were pulled into a different direction.  I've always loved this about thrillers. I find myself pulling back from procedurals lately.  This one seemed to get a bit overly detailed.

Overall, a solid read and for those who love the slow burn, this will be a better read for you.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity of an Advanced Read....I rarely do not finish books, but 2/3 of the way through all I could think ab was ‘there is no way’. This was a desolate area with so many transients and ‘official’ turf issues. My blood pressure just could not take it! If someone has the stamina to finish, I would like to know.
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Scandinavian crime fiction no longer has a monopoly in Europe!  This gripping, atmospheric thriller will have you wired from the very first page.  Fans of international intrigue - in the same vein as John le Carre and Alan Furst - will be wanting more when they reach the end of this noirish story, adroitly translated by the masterful Frank Wynne.  We can only hope for more to come through the pipeline soon.
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I feel like I've read this before.  Two girls go missing and one returns.  It doesn't have to be girls and it doesn't have to be two, but it's been more and more common.  Or maybe I read too much.  I have to say that for about half of this book or so, I was very involved.  I often started to feel like I wasn't getting anywhere, though.

The pros include the setting.  I love the village of Monteperdido.  Another pro is the inspector Sara Campos.  I was fascinated to learn about a remote village in the Pyrenees.  I love when a book makes me do a little research of my own.  I enjoyed the relationship between Campos and Santiago. The interesting and intriguing characters, such as Anna and Lucia, the missing girls. Or like Lucia's father. Or Campos' connection to the case.  Add to those, the premise.  A mystery, especially one that any parent can feel in their heart, that made me want to continue to read even when I started to feel like I was passing the same tree again.  

The cons come when you realize that you are running in circles.  A lot of suspects (almost any male character) that don't go anywhere.  We could have left some of that out.  The story would pick up and slow down and I started to not care.  Over all, it came back together for me, but I felt it was very uneven.  With a lot to like and some not to like, I'd say I came down right in the middle.
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This was such an intriguing read! Set in Spain, which is different than any thriller I've ever read, made the plot even more interesting to me. I love how it sucked me in from the very beginning. I could not guess who the kidnapper was at all and felt all of the plot twists throughout! I am so pleasantly surprised by this book. It definitely reminded me of Criminal Minds, which I absolutely love. Thank you for this advanced copy!
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I really enjoyed this translated book.  It took me to a place I’ve never read about before in the Pyrenees of Spain and the descriptions had me visualizing it with ease.  It was a well drawn novel filled with complex characters and an ending that I wasn’t predicting—exactly what I love best in a thriller.
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<i><b>"Our job rarely means saving the innocent. Most of the time, all we can do is understand the monster."</b></i>

Two eleven-year-old best friends, Ana and Lucia went missing one afternoon after school.  Five years later, Ana reappears after surviving a car accident.  Their case is reopened and the search for Lucia is on, as well as a quest to find answers as to who took Ana and Lucia, what happened to them and why can't (or wont) Ana recall what happened to them after their abduction.

The book is atmospheric and has a great setting - The Pyrenes in Spain, but it is also a little long.  I agree with other reviewers who mention this. This slowed down the book. I believe I would have enjoyed this book had been shorter. I am not a slow burn kind of gal so that is just my opinion. If you enjoy slower paced reads, this might be for you - but be warned it deals with some heavy subject matter.

The Author does paint a vivid picture of a town who does not give up its secrets.  Everyone appears to have something to hide, which makes solving this care hard, especially after mistakes made early in the investigation.  Loss is also conveyed strongly throughout the book. 

When the end comes, will you be surprised?  I enjoyed the ending but the journey to get there was long and slow. Again, fans of a slow burn will enjoy this. The story is solid, just too long winded for me. Others are enjoying this more so be sure to read their reviews as well.

Thank you to Quercus and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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3 for neutral, unfortunately this book just did not capture my attention enough for me to finish it,  I tried on multiple occasions, as I usually love the snowy atmosphere in thrillers, but just eventually had to give up!  Will update at later date if able to finish!
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Usually thrillers are my go to genre. I love to experience new authors and see how their writing influences new twists. 

In this case, while the writing was good, I felt like it was a struggle to really get into feeling like I was a part of the story (which I do consider when reading). And yes, I may even say there were boring parts that I skimmed in order to keep from losing interest all together.  This is a LONG book and unfortunately after awhile I began to wonder if I could even continue to read. After the good beginning, I felt let down with the second half. 

Unfortunately I did DNF this book because it just didn't keep me wanting to invest more time. BUT if you like slow burn thrillers with lots of details, definitely pick this one.
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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book! Village of the Lost Girls is a fast-paced thriller, and the story is overall enjoyable and easy to read. There are many different characters in the book, which can sometimes be hard to keep track of, but all the characters add to the complexity of the plot, so for the most part, it works. I particularly enjoyed the main police investigator, Sara, and watching her develop relationships with the people in the town. I was also surprised by the ending, and I had not been able to anticipate who had committed the crime. Overall, a fun, fast-paced book, and a solid thriller. Recommend for anyone who enjoys thrillers with very dark components.
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2 1/2 ⭐️‘s
This book was quite slow and sluggish and could use some further editing.   Each time it felt like we were finally getting somewhere with the mystery it stalled.  Five years ago, two friends disappeared in the village of Monteperdido Spain.  When Ana turns up a victim in a car accident everyone wants to know where she’s been, with who and most of all where Lucia is?  Does Ana really not rememberer or is she holding something back?  There were so many characters to keep track of that at times it was confusing, the characters were almost all unlikable and the overall story was quite depressing.  The ending was hard to take making this a very difficult read.
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In Village of the Lost Girls, two 11-year-old girls, Ana and Lucia, go missing in the small, mountain town of Monteperdido. Five years later, Ana reappears under mysterious circumstances. Inspectors Sara Campos and Santiago Baín arrive in Monteperdido determined to solve the case and find Lucia. Although Ana appears to be cooperating, her explanation of what happened to her and Lucia is infuriatingly unhelpful to the inspectors. Does she remember more than she is telling them? And which of the town’s citizens is the monster hidden in plain sight?

Martínez truly takes his time to transport the reader to the town of Monteperdido and introduce them to those living there. There are quite a few characters that the author cycles through. While this may seem overwhelming at first, it is one of the novel’s biggest strengths. The reader can immerse themself into Monteperdido and evaluate every character on their own. Additionally, the way that the text quickly switches from character to character helped the long chapters (which I am normally not a fan of) fly by enjoyably. I will recommend grabbing a notebook and writing down the names of the characters as they are introduced. Doing so was extremely beneficial to me and my reading experience.

Another aspect of the book that I liked was that the author did not pull any punches. I was shocked a couple of times by plot developments. Also, characters faced the consequences for their actions, including the inspectors. As someone who is tired of the infallible, hero law enforcement trope, I loved the flaws in the investigators. Sometimes cops make stupid and even unethical decisions, which have negative results. I enjoyed seeing that the inspectors were not magically off the hook because they are searching for Lucia. Actions have reactions whether they’re for “the greater good” or not.

I do not want to say much more for fear of spoilers, but I would recommend this book if you are a fan of this type of mystery. With the way the plot is designed, I think Village of the Lost Girls would make an excellent TV mini-series if anyone decided to make it. If you have watched the show Broadchurch with David Tennant and Olivia Coleman, this has a similar premise and atmosphere, so you will likely enjoy this book too. Just remember, everyone has their secrets in Monteperdido.
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A compulsive read that will have you loosing chunks of time. As they race to figure out what happened you will read as fast as you can to keep up with them. Taunt and edgy it's a rollercoaster of a ride. Absolutely pick this up. Happy reading!
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500 pages for just an okay book? Can I get paid for my time because meh?

Two girls has disappeared. Five years passes. Car crash in the area and one of the missing girls is involved - but....where is the other girl? Who was driving the car?

I just...didn't care. It was wordy and that made it kind of boring for me.

Still, some people might enjoy this kind of thing.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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