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The Lost Girls by Gwen Moffatt Bookouture Pub Date: October 2, 2015
When a Lakeland dale is flooded to form a reservoir there are no protests...only relief.
The rising water should cover the remains of little Joannie Gardner.
And local people might finally be able to forget both the child and the man who left the dale shortly after her disappearance.
But forty-five years on memories come surging back as the water recedes during a prolonged drought - and another lost girl stumbles into the dale.
Perry is a street kid on the run with just one friend - a fat collie with a liking for bones.
A careless drifter, Perry sees herself as a survivor, but in the market town of Kelleth, where the displaced villagers have ended up, there is a killer on the loose.
But, if Perry is the perceived victim, it is travel writer and amateur sleuth Melinda Pink who is the ultimate threat…
When the dog’s ghastly find at the drowned village resurrects the events and rumours surrounding Joanie’s disappearance many years earlier, it is Miss Pink who makes the connection to reveal more horrors than had ever been suspected…
Beneath the peaceful surface, small villages harbor dark secrets. The Lost Girls is a fascinating mystery, certain to satisfy those who enjoy amateur detection as well as police procedurals.
Almost 45 years ago, a village was evacuated to make way for a reservoir. At that time, young Joannie Gardner went missing, and the husband of a local disappeared a few days later. Now, the water is receding and secrets are coming unearthed. When a child's femur is found by a drifter's dog, the search begins for the rest of Joannie's remains.
With few left alive from the time, suspicion and gossip quickly flow. When murder follows, it becomes clear that a killer is on the loose. Travel writer Miss Pink has experience with murder, and when her friends ask her to investigate, she starts asking questions, digging into the past that some wish would remain submerged.
Miss Pink is an intrepid lead, a more physically capable Miss Marple, equally observant and aware of human psychology. Her ability to look beyond the surface helps uncover the truth, despite little physical evidence remaining. Her friend Harald is a fascinating character with his flights of fancy and his obsession with murder both real and fictional.
The Lost Girls is an enjoyable British mystery, with an interesting lead and a cast of varied characters.
I received a copy of The Lost Girls from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.