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The Lost Village: A Novel Kindle Edition
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"Come for the mounting horror and scares, but stay for a devastating examination of the nature of family secrets." - New York Times book review
“THE LOST VILLAGE draws you in with its spooky premise--the disappearance of an entire town--but great atmospherics and unexpected twists keep you turning the pages. For fans of haunted reality TV shows, Scandinavian thrillers, and all things relentlessly creepy.” -- Alma Katsu, author of The Deep and The Hunger
"Very atmospheric and engaging mystery from a new and exciting voice in Scandinavian crime. The reader is drawn into a unique setting from page one and it is impossible to stop reading." - Ragnar Jonasson, author of The Island
"An enthralling and claustrophobic read. Camilla Sten has written a lurid thriller that will send shivers down your spine.” – M.T. Edvardsson, author of A Nearly Normal Family
"This gripping psychological thriller is sure to please fans of Shirley Jackson and cinema verité–styled horror." - Publishers Weekly
"Very hard to put down...delivers maximum dread with remarkable restraint, and as the situation goes from bad to worse to terrifying, readers will revel in the chills." - Booklist
"Deliciously creepy and profoundly addictive." - The Free Lance Star
"Legitimately scary." - Air Mail
"The suspense in this book is off the charts." - Manhattan Book Review
"[A] scary, highly entertaining debut...that pays homage to Shirley Jackson." - South Florida Sun Sentinel
About the Author
- ASIN : B08BYCMH48
- Publisher : Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (March 23, 2021)
- Publication date : March 23, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3782 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 336 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #40,301 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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As a book, this wasn't bad; however, with a little tweaking by a filmmaker like Ari Aster (Midsommar - great, creepy flick: if you've never seen it, you have to see it) this would be a no brainer as a feature film.
Read the book before it becomes a movie.
The book's setting is the old mining town of Silvertjarn, a remote, desolate place that got abandoned by its inhabitants sixty years earlier and their disappearance is considered to be one of the biggest mysteries ever for the Swedish people. The book is a fine blend of horror and mystery fiction and the suspense level is kept high as the story evolves and reaches its climax in the concluding part where all the disturbing occurrences that take place throughout the novel are explained and every piece of the puzzle falls into place. The author hints at the possibility of supernatural intervention and the reader gets mesmerized by the enthralling descriptions of an ominous, hostile place that seems to repel any visitors who wish to explore and learn more about its unsettling history. Sten's writing style is captivating and her masterful use of the double timeline narrative technique is exemplary as the story jumps back and forth in time between 1959 and the present day. The two timelines share a complimentary relationship and major plot points are revealed in the right time, thus keeping the reader betrothed and on edge.
Alice Lindstedt is an aspiring documentary filmmaker who embarks on a risky journey to shoot a documentary, dubbed "The Lost Village", that will shed light to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the vanishing of a whole town six decades earlier. Alice is personally connected to the bizarre story as her great-grandmother, Elsa, was one of Silvertjarn's more than 900 residents to disappear from the face of the earth. Alice's grandmother sparked her passion for the town's history as she used to narrate to her daughter old family stories that shared a common denominator: the tragic fate of the residents of Silvertjarn that marked her life forever. In the present timeline we follow Alice and her crew of four people than consists of Emmy, Robert, Max, and Tone arriving in Silvertjarn in order to shoot a teaser for the upcoming documentary. Being on a tight budget, they only have five days to scout the place and shoot some scenes that are meant to attract the attention of potential producers. But as they settle in the place, inexplicable things begin to happen. Mysterious figures seem to stalk the crew, the radio receives some disturbing signals, and soon one of the members disappears without a trace leaving the rest in shock.
In the past timeline we read about Alice's great-grandmother, Elsa, who lives in Silvertjarn along with her husband, Staffan, and daughter, Aina. The town is in decay as the mine is closed and most of the residents are out of a job. Staffan hits the bottle and Elsa's family life upends when a new vicar, Mattias, arrives in town and seems to be able to enchant his flock due to his charisma and charm. Aina becomes bewitched with Mattias and soon her behavior towards Elsa begins to change in a way that is both unpleasant and alarming. Mattias becomes a kind of occult leader who claims that he holds the keys to the people's salvation and his preaching ripples the surface of Silvertjarn's quiet waters. Deeply troubled by Aina's conversion, Elsa will attempt to save both her family and a troubled woman, Birgitte, who lives alone and isolated because of her crippling mental state that doesn't allow her to function as the rest of the town's residents do. As the situation unravels, things will get more and more wild in town and Birgitte will be persecuted and victimized by the mass of folk that follow Mattias's word.
I found The Lost Village to be one of the most entnthralling Nordic thrillers that I've read in the last few months and it brought to my mind another classic of the genre, I Remember You by the Icelandic "Queen of Crime Fiction", Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Both novels are based on a analogous plot premise and use the double timeline narrative expertly. The relationship dynamics between the documentary crew are complicated and we learn more about the relationships between the members as the story unfolds. The strained liaison between Alice and Emmy is the most interesting one as it is linked to the main theme of the novel that is the perception of mental illness by the majority of the people. The dialogue is plausible and the final explanation is more than gratifying. To sum up, this book was a pleasant surprise and a great introduction to Camila Sten's body of work that is comprised of novels of various genres such as YA, thriller, and horror. It seems that she inherited the talent from her successful mother, Viveca, and I believe that the readers will have the chance to read more of her intriguing books in the near future.
I understand the author is the daughter of a famous Swedish crime author. Sorry to say this, but whatever gift Mom has did not transmit to her daughter, but one assumes that Mutter helped dotter get this published. That's how the publishing world works these days, I guess. I am really sorry I read this. You should not read it either.
Top reviews from other countries
A solid start. It drew me in and set a good scene. A couple of creepy moments early on. Those feelings of being watched, of someone in standing at the periphery. The "Then" sections were interesting, the letters, the sinister cult leader. But then it started to fall apart and by the conclusion was laughable. Daft is the best way to describe it. We needed more back story as the conclusion of "Then" was rushed. "Now" was no better, and it felt like the author had lost her way with it. A shame as it could have been an excellent piece of horror.
Giving it 2/5 for a decent start.
But the ending seems far too rushed.