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Book Review: Village of Lost Girls by Agustin Martinez

Village of Lost Girls

Agustin Martinez

Hachette

RRP: $37.99

Two young girls go missing in the Pyrenees in Spain. They’re not seen for five years and then out of the blue one of the girls appears in the hospital after being in a car accident. Where has she been? And where is her friend?

This book is dark and brooding. The image on the cover is oppressive and bleak and this book read a lot like the Netflix murder mysteries in France/Spain that are prevalent at the moment.

The reader is quickly thrown into the action and the hook is great – instantly you need to know more! But then the cast of characters is vast. And the story long. And the detective work slow. And it’s all just a bit depressing…and I lost some steam. That said, the hook at the beginning was enough to keep me on the line.

It’s a personal flaw of mine that I struggle with novels in translation that have very foreign sounding names – for some reason I am terrible at remembering who is who and tend to get people confused. Add to this some towns and cities and I’m quite literally lost in translation. When you’re trying to figure out whodunit (and where!) this can be a real issue.

So, the middle (and the names and places) are a bit of a challenge for this reader, but the storylines – both of the missing girls, the small village and its inhabitants, and the police officers, are really interesting. Sometimes I felt there were almost too many competing storylines – but I have to admit I wonder if this is because (to me!) it felt like more of a TV show concept than a novel?

If you’re a lover of the Scandi-noir novel, and the subtitled drama/thriller/mystery shows on Netflix then you’ll likely love this novel, but you might find it slow in parts.

About the Author

Agustin Martinez was born in 1975 and studied Audiovisual Communications in Madrid. Today, he is one of Spain’s most renowned screenwriters who has worked on some of the country’s most popular crime series. On a holiday trip with his family to the Pyrenees he overheard the locals talking about the case of a missing child. The idea for Village of the Lost Girls, his first novel, was born and has been translated into many languages since.

About Esther Perriam

Esther Perriam
Esther Perriam is the General Manager at Eldernet. She’s worked in the business for over 10 years and has been lucky to visit many of the older person’s services around the country. She’s never short of an opinion on…pretty much anything. Esther really loves reading and you’ll see plenty of book reviews authored by her. As a mother of two small children there’s not much free time but if there is she also enjoys cooking (for grown-ups, not the kids!) and anything beach related in her spare time. Esther has presented at conferences around New Zealand and is happy to be contacted in regards to speaking or presenting at your event.

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