Thursday, February 18, 2021

Book Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten


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?


Don’t be fooled when you read the summary of The Lost Village, the one that tells you the story is about a documentary film crew that gets to a Swedish village where the people mysteriously disappeared in 1959.  I mean that is true, they do go there, but only to scout, not film, and they do nothing with filming whatsoever. 

Also, this book says it is a thriller/horror book. I disagree with that. Hear me out. I am a big scary cat, I have trouble reading Riley Sager books, they creep me out, I can only read them during the day. I spent the majority of my time reading The Lost Village in the dark, alone. Is it a horror …yes..but it is not scary. The horror is that people fall prey to religion and religious leaders. I have questioned that so many times in my life, and here again with this book I found myself questioning it, especially as this book unfolds and you are beginning to understand what has actually happened in 1959. Maybe it is easier to fall prey to these people than I realize, people certainly “ drink the Kool-Aid “ so to speak…The Salem Witch Trials, Jim Jones, Waco, you could even count in Hitler and Manson, however, they were less religious-based. What must people's life be like to grasp so heavily at the words of these people?  Ok sorry off point…back to the story…

The Lost Village is fast-paced, bouncing between two time periods, Then ( 1959 ) and Now.  The then takes you through events that lead up to the cause of the mysterious disappearance of the entire village and the chapters are interspaced throughout the Now chapters that deal with a film documentary crew who has come to make a film about the disappearance. Shortly after arriving they begin to notice small things, often wondering if it isn’t their imagination getting the best of them, but they soon realize they are not alone out there as more and more things happen, and the things begin to get worse.  The timelines also connect the two times together fairly neatly. I found myself more invested in the Then timeline, I really wanted to know how a village of 900 people could just disappear off the face of the earth, and I think it was that want that kept me reading, as I was not very fond of any of the characters, I felt a bit detached from them.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad book, I give it a solid three stars, which to me is neither great nor bad. I read it through the worse snow and ice storm we have had in years, and it felt like the perfect setting even without the book dealing with winter weather, and it kept me entertained. If anything I would say it was a good mystery, it has its moments of suspense, a feeling dread mostly, but if you were looking for creepy, or horror, or an outright thriller, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

** Thanks to Minotaur Books for the Advanced Copy **

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