The Lost Woman
The opening chapters of The Lost Woman set the stage for a gripping, hard-to-figure-out mystery: a woman is shot through her kitchen window in England; the victim, a Dane, was reported missing eighteen years earlier; a Danish policeman, still investigating the woman’s disappearance, vanishes. An additional layer of intrigue is provided by the unusual and clever idea propelling the story. Imagine my surprise, then, when, barely one third through the book, I spotted the motive for the killing. Mystery over. Over, that is, except for the Danish police, who pursue a different and implausible line of investigation. Their English counterparts are not much better, arresting a suspect not even in the UK at the time of the murder. Worse still, the killer is only identified thanks to the happenstance of a witness accidentally seeing a photograph of the man she saw fleeing the crime scene–not a particularly fulfilling resolution. The writing is clear and perhaps this is the author’s downfall–she allows the reader to see too much, too easily, too early. Nevertheless, The Lost Woman produces its share of entertainment, though many readers, like me, will feel an opportunity for a truly mystifying tale has been squandered.
Grand Central Publishing