The Lost Village by Camilla Sten is a thriller mystery told in parallel timelines with epistolary elements.
I saw this mystery novel pop up on Crime by the Book, and I loved the premise immediately. Little did I know what I was getting into…
The Lost Village
The Lost Village by Camilla Sten has a serious Blair Witch Project set up and locked-room mystery vibes, which drew me to the story in the first place. Documentary filmmaker Alice Lindstedt sets out to make a film on the lost mining town of Silvertjärn. She has brought together a small film crew to travel to the remote village to film a trailer to entice more backers to join the project.
Except when they get to the village they soon realize they’re not alone.
The Characters…Or Not
If you’re a frequent reader of this book blog, you’ll know I love character-driven fiction. While this thriller had a motley crew of characters in both timelines, their development was not fleshed out to the point that usually attracts me to a story.
There were still challenges and goals and ample motivation, but it’s really not the characters that were the highlight here. They were more like pawns in the scheme of the thriller.
I read this book in one sitting. In fact, I took the day off from writing just to finish this book because the words were so powerful at drawing me into the story I could not put it down.
I haven’t read a book this compelling in a long time, and it astounds me that this is the author’s first attempt at this genre.
The village was spooky. There are delicious Scooby Doo, abandoned urban explorers, and ghosty vibes in this village all while appearing utterly harmless. Sten so carefully tread the line of perfectly normal and downright scary. This book TERRIFIED me.
The sense of place was gripping, and I honestly felt DIRTY by the time I finished reading this thriller as if I were the one who had traveled through these abandoned homes and buildings.
As soon as an unexpected newcomer arrived in the village in the past timeline, I knew where the plot was going. This happens fairly early in the thriller, and soon I had it all figured out plot-wise as to what happened to the village.
THIS DID NOT MATTER.
Because what happened to the village isn’t important. It’s what’s happening in the present that will take you by the throat.
In the present timeline, you have:
- A remote location
- Cut off from communication with the outside world (and thus help)
- An unknown force acting against the main characters in a threatening way
- Unexplainable occurrences
- A simply creepy setting with all the delicious details you’d want from an abandoned location story
All of this combined to make a simply delightful read and most important of all, an entertaining one.
I already have the author’s second book on my holds list at the library. I loved the experience of reading this thriller, and I can’t wait to see what the author brings to the table in her next book. If you like remote location, locked-room type thrillers, definitely check out The Lost Village.