Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Lost Village by Camilla Sten


The blurb compares this to The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar. I actually think a better pairing would be The Night Film meets American Gothic. THE LOST VILLAGE is about a documentarian named Alice who wants to create a project revolving around the abandoned mining town, Silvertjarn. But Silvertjarn is different than other ghost towns: things changed mysteriously after the arrival of a charismatic preacher and then all the townsfolk disappeared at once.

Alice goes to Silvertjarn with her crew: Emmy, Robert, Max, and Tone. The town is eerie, the perfect setting for a creepy documentary. But pretty soon, things start to get weird. Mysterious figures watching them in the rain. Equipment going missing. Vehicles blowing up. Disappearances. When one of the crew goes missing, it starts to look like the project might be more dangerous than even Alice ever thought.

THE LOST VILLAGE is a dual timeline mystery. The present tense is narrated by Alice. The past parts are narrated by Alice's great-grandmother, Elsa, who grew up in and lived in the town. This allows for the gradual dissemination of knowledge through the mediums of two unreliable narrators, neither of whom have a complete set of information at their disposal.

It took me a while to get involved in the book. It moved very slowly and at first it seemed like it might be the type of book to have a silly ending. But I stuck with it because I was curious and I'm really glad I did. Elsa's POV was the slowest but ended up being quite chilling. And Alice's POV became even more compelling as she began to question her own sanity and reality. If you enjoy slower-paced mysteries with dual timelines, I think you'll really enjoy THE LOST VILLAGE. Especially if you also like cold Scandinavian settings and the gradual unwinding of dark family secrets.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars

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