ARC Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar in this brilliantly disturbing thriller from Camilla Sten, an electrifying new voice in suspense.

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?

Come find out.

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Horror
Publication date: March 23, 2021
Rating: 2.5⭐️

I feel conflicted about this book. I was intrigued by the premise – an old mining village in Sweden disappears. Nobody knows what happened to the residents of the village. All that was found was a woman’s body and a newborn baby. Later a small group investigates the village with the intent to make a documentary and hopefully gain insight into what happened to the village all those years ago. It’s a mix of a ghost story, mystery and a lot of twists and turns. It sounds promising, but I think it ultimately failed in the execution of the story.

I really enjoyed the framework of the story with the group filming a documentary. It was certainly creepy with the characters seeing figures in the dark and hearing things. They start to believe they are not alone. The narrative is told in a mix of past and present time so the reader is slowly learning the history along with the main characters. I also enjoyed the characters – Alice and Tone both have familial connections to this story so finding out the truth is personal to both of them. The action definitely starts to pick up towards the end and it was bloodier and more disturbing than I was expecting, which I personally enjoyed.

I ultimately felt like the ending was a bit lackluster, although if this book were to be made into a movie I think it would translate better on screen. It was disturbing and horrifying and yet I didn’t feel very attached to the story. I also felt like certain elements weren’t fully explained and weren’t very believable, but I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers.

This was a creepy, disturbing story about an entire village that disappeared. The concept is intriguing and if you are a fan of mysteries you may enjoy this. While I was disappointed with the ending I ultimately thought it was a clever story.

Have you read The Lost Village? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

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