Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Suspense; Mystery
Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault, suicide, assault
The Lost Village is a creepy and atmospheric suspense novel set in an abandoned and isolated village in Silvertjärn, Sweden. This book is compared a lot to The Blair Witch Project and for good reason. Both are about documentary crews who are in the middle of nowhere and are trying to uncover the truth of a local mystery. This is a dual timeline story where we are following a woman back in the 1950’s and we get to see from her perspective the events that led to the abandonment of the town. The bulk of the story though, is told from our current day protagonist, Alice, who has put together a documentary crew to do the ground work for potential investors to eventually make a full documentary about what happened in Silvertjärn. Beyond being a bizarre story in Swedish history, Alice is also enthralled by Silvertjärn because her Grandmother used to live there and had just moved away when things started to turn sinister. Her Grandmother’s family were among the missing residents that have never been found and Alive grew up hearing stories of them. Compounded with the intrigue of trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the residents of Silvertjärn, there is also a lot of drama and history between the five members of the documentary crew.
The mystery of what happened to all the people living in Silvertjärn is what propels this story forward but at its core this is a character driven story about the choices people make and the things they believe in. My favorite thing about this book is that I was never sure where Sten was going with this story. Everything feels so eerie and unsettling, both with the setting and with the characters in both timelines. Sten did a masterful job of taking all these tendrils of story and weaving into one surprising and unnerving ending.
As a lover of everything thriller, horror and suspense this book totally hit the mark for me. I vividly felt that I was there with the characters and I adored all the creepy and insidious elements. Because of that I really took my time reading this to fully immerse myself in everything that Sten had to offer. If you are looking for a book that has both a creepy atmosphere and a compelling mystery along with unnerving elements than this is the book to pick up.