First Line: Gone is coming! Gone is coming!
The body of a woman is found in the forest. The large scar on one side of her face should have made identification easy, but no one has reported her missing. Detective Louise Rick has just been made commander of the Missing Persons Department, and she makes the decision to release a photo of the victim to the media in hopes that someone who knew her will step forward.
Her decision pays off. The dead woman's name is Lisemette, and many years ago as a child she was cared for in the state mental institution. Lisemette-- like the other children in the institution-- had been abandoned by her family and labeled a "forgotten girl." Further investigation proves disturbing. Over thirty years ago Lisemette and her twin sister were both issued death certificates. The case of one unidentified dead woman has turned into a case that Louise Rick will not stop working until she has all the answers.
I can see why this series of mysteries is a bestseller in Denmark. Louise Rick is a character readers can't help but like, and the trials and tribulations of her new job position highlight some of the things women have to deal with in a male-dominated work force like the police. Louise's personal life and the death of her fiance also play a part in the story.
Blaedel also uses the landscape and forests of Denmark to good effect. I often found all the trees to be rather claustrophobic. But the investigation itself grabbed almost every scrap of my concentration. I had allowed myself to forget how the developmentally disabled were often treated in the past. It is something none of us should forget. As good as the characters and the setting are in The Forgotten Girls, the investigation into the fate of Lisemette and her sister is engrossing, and its outcome is truly riveting... horrifying... and ultimately transformed by the actions of one elderly man.
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel
Translated from the Danish by Signe Rød Golly
Grand Central Publishing © 2015
eBook, 339 pages
Police Procedural, #7 Louise Rick mystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon