SFF

The Lost Village

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9781250249258. $26.99. HORROR
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Alice Lindstedt is a documentary filmmaker chasing the story of Silvertjärn, a remote Swedish village whose residents vanished without a trace in 1959. Alice has assembled a small crew that will spend five days filming there, in the hopes of getting material that will inspire investors to fund the project. As soon as they arrive, however, a series of unexplained occurrences make it clear that Alice and company aren’t alone in Silvertjärn. Someone (or something) is keeping tabs on them. Whatever it is, it’s not happy they’re in town. Sten’s first book available in English never lets up on the tension, weaving scenes from Silvertjärn’s past through Alice’s story in the present. It’s a satisfyingly creepy two-for-one mystery—“Who’s after the filmmakers?” “What really happened in Silvertjärn?”—that opens up into horror in the breakneck final act.
VERDICT While some of the interpersonal dramas fall a little flat, the unraveling of Silvertjärn’s secrets (and the fate of the town’s lost villagers) make for a mostly gripping ride that will satisfy mystery and horror fans alike.

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