Summary (from Goodreads):
“In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick–the new commander of the Missing Persons Department–is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed–and hidden–in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.”
I don’t read many mysteries any more, and when I do, they tend to be part of a series. I mention that because Sara Blaedel is writing one of my favorite series now.
According to the letter included with my ARC of this, a full fifth of Denmark residents love her books. I can’t think of an American equivalent.
This book is one of my favorites of hers. While it’s set in Denmark, it could just as easily be set here. Both places have had less than stellar histories where people deemed deficient could be institutionalized and forgotten by their families. One of those people is at the heart of this story: a “forgotten girl” who was left in an institution as a small child and who was declared dead long before she actually died. So who is she? How did this happen? And how do you figure out what happened when, as far as anyone knows, she was dead for decades before she actually died?
(The answer is brilliant, although at this point, I expect nothing else from Sara Blaedel.)
If you haven’t read Sara Blaedel, you need to start. She’s just as good as her famous fans (Karin Slaughter and Michael Connelly among them) would have you believe.