Review: The Forgotten Girls by Owen Laukkanen

Title: The Forgotten Girls
Author: Owen Laukkanen
Pages: 360
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Rating: C

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Summary: Deep in the northern mountains of the United States, where winter is harsh and people are scarce, girls have been going missing for years. Many of them are Native American, some are prostitutes, some are runaways, some are small town barmaids, all are the kind of girls that could easily disappear without anyone noticing. Until now.

When FBI agents Windermere and Stevens get wind of the case, all they have is a dead girl, an unidentified runaway rail rider, and a gut feeling that there is something more to this than the one girl. Quickly, they find themselves chasing a serial killer, a failed Army Ranger who hates women, a loner who is an expert survivalist. And he’s about to give them a run for their money.

Review: The premise of this book was enticing, but the cover was what really sold the deal for me. And who loves a good serial killer story? This girl does. Alas, the cover was the best part of the book.

The story is interesting, and it started off really well. Immediately, I was into it, drawn to the first girl who dies, wanting to know more about this serial killer who rides the rails trolling for victims. However, in the long run, it wasn’t suspenseful enough for my taste, not gritty enough. The angst of the killer, the frustration of the agents, the fear of the victims, these are feelings that should have been palpable, but were not. After the first few chapters, it was easy enough to set aside at bedtime, and that isn’t what I expect from this kind of book.

The second thing is, it wasn’t really detailed or technical enough. Not enough FBI procedure, no focus on the serial killer’s motives, no profiler or psychologist involved, very little in the way of clues. Ultimately, it was a soft approach, and while I’m sure there are plenty of readers who like that, I’m not one of them. Scare me. Thrill me. Disgust me. Make my heart race. Make me wonder what the hell is going on. Please.

For me, it was meh. Mo Hayder and Lincoln Child are more my speed.

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