Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Island of Lost Girls

The Island of Lost Girls by Alex Marwood
6/13/23; 480 pages

The Island of Lost Girls by Alex Marwood is a recommended novel that tackles current headlines involving wealthy, corrupt, evil individuals and lost innocence.

Set on the fictional Mediterranean island of La Kastellana the narrative follows two timelines set in 1985 and 2016. London-based multimillionaire Matthew Meade arrives in La Kastellana in 1985 with the new Duke and plans to develop the island into a destination for the rich and powerful. This is when twelve-year old Mercedes Delia meets thirteen-year-old Tatiana Meade. The Meades secure Mercedes as a companion for Tatiana, which is the beginning of a life of serving the Meades.

In 2016 Robin arrives on the island looking for her seventeen-year-old daughter Gemma who has been missing for over a year. She had clues that Gemma was heading to the island, but once Robin arrives there she realizes that finding people willing to help her is going to be hard on this island controlled by the wealthy. At the same time an undercover Europol investigation of human trafficking is secretly working with Mercedes to gather evidence about the disturbing activities on the island.

This is a slow-moving and slow-to-build suspense novel that requires time and attention to details in order for readers to become immersed in the plot. However, once you stick with the story about half way through the book you will know the dark hidden truth and exactly the direction the narrative is taking. The plot clearly took inspiration from news stories about the wealthy and powerful using their positions to do exactly what they please and the cost their nefarious desires extracts from others. The details are dark and gruesome.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley.

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