Review: The Lost Village by Camilla Sten

The Lost VillageThe Lost Village by Camilla Sten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


In 1959, it was discovered that all the residents of the defunct mining town of, Silvertjarn, Sweden, had mysteriously disappeared.

Well, all but the woman found hanging, stoned to death in the town square, and an infant located in the local school.

For decades, the mystery has gone unsolved.

Aspiring documentary filmmaker, Alice Lindstedt, has become obsessed with The Lost Village, as her Grandmother’s entire family were among the disappeared. She decides to tackle the mystery as her first solo documentary project.

She plans to travel to the remote village, along with a small crew, to search for the truth of what happened to the residents. She does have some information on the town based on letters from her Grandmother’s little sister, Aina.

Together with her friend, Tone, who also has a connection to the village, her ex-best friend, Emmy, an experienced production manager, Emmy’s technician and significant other, Robert, and the financial backer of the film, Max, Alice is finally able to reach her destination: Silvertjarn.

The plan is to shoot on location for six days. That’s all the time they have with their rented equipment. The project is low budget to say the least, but could be life-changing for Alice if the documentary is received well.

They travel to the town with just enough supplies to last through the six days. The location is quite remote; they won’t be bothered by anyone and should be able to focus and hopefully get enough good footage to kick the project off.

From the very start, the town has an ominous feel. It’s creepy being in an abandoned town. The houses and buildings still hold all of the belongings in place like time capsules. It seems the residents got up one day, walked out and never returned.

What could have happened here? All of the crew feel uneasy about the location, but decide to put their heads down and just work through it.

Tension is running high and some bickering ensues. The team seems to be coming apart before they’ve even started, but Alice is willing to do anything to salvage what time they have left.

Everything begins to spiral though and soon some on the crew suspect they are not alone in the village after all.

Together with the present day timeline, we get a past timeline as well, told from the perspective of Alice’s Great-Grandmother, Elsa, in the days leading up to the mass disappearance.

This past timeline ultimately concludes with the truth about the town and its dark secrets being revealed.

The Lost Village is an interesting story. While it started out slow for me, it did pick up quite a bit after the halfway point.

I enjoyed the overall mystery of the village and the alternating timelines; although I actually enjoyed the past timeline more.

In the present timeline, the characters and some of their choices were aggravating to me. I found the petty bickering annoying and some of the relationships didn’t make sense to me.

With this being said, it didn’t overshadow the other content too much. I was still able to enjoy the journey to the conclusion.

The ending definitely toed the line of eyeroll territory for me. I was shaking my head a bit, if I’m being honest.

Overall, though, this story has a lot of strong points. The atmosphere and overarching mystery were both very good; as well as the idea of a documentary film crew trying to unravel the mystery on location. I loved that.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Minotaur Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinions!

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