The Forgotten Girls by Owen Laukkanen

30763903The Forgotten Girls
(Stevens & Windermere #6)
By Owen Laukkanen
Narrated by  Edoardo Ballerini
Audio Book Publisher: Recorded Books
Unabridged: 9 HR 45 Min
Genre: Crime Thriller/Mystery


They are the victims no one has ever cared about, until now. Agents Stevens and Windermere return in this new crime novel.

She was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on the High Line train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected—a string of murders on the High Line, all of them young women drifters whom no one would notice.

But someone has noticed now. Through the bleak midwinter and a frontier land of forbidding geography, Stevens and Windermere follow a frustratingly light trail of clues—and where it ends, even they will be shocked.

My Thoughts

First of all, I want to admit that this was my first encounter with the Stevens & Windermere series, and it worked beautifully as a standalone. I enjoyed the detectives, even though I know it is probably more beneficial to follow them from book one. I am sure that an even stronger connection can be established.

Sixth in the series, The Forgotten Girls takes us on a journey to uncover a killer who is targeting young female drifters. When Kirk Stephens and Carla Windermere find themselves at the center of a murder investigation involving a young woman who was train-hopping in a last-ditch effort to return home, they uncover a larger set of crimes. A killer is claiming victims that have tragically flown under the radar. While working hard on a trail of vague clues, another young girl Mila, is also hunting down the unknown assailant. But her intentions are to avenge her friend, lost at the killer’s hands. As their paths come to an ultimate crossing point, will they find the answers they seek in time?

“You don’t ever surf trains on the high line.”

As with any mystery, dissecting the plot can is almost impossible. After all, the big pay off is that key revelation. And I have no intentions of spoiling it. But this one did work beautifully for me with only the minimal hiccups.

What worked..

  • Clear and precise navigation carried the story with incredible ease. The alternating POVs were an enhancement, in this case, adding a welcomed addition of depth. The author writes with an air of intelligence that speaks of research done and even feels familiar of real-life cases.
  • An original plot tackles relevant issues surrounding the dangers many transients face ranging from harsh environments to the more unseen, those who prey on isolated victims. It offers insight into a life many have little understanding of.
  • A fascinating approach to police procedure supplies the reader a refreshing and realistic glimpse into the struggles and challenges of tackling a difficult case and relying on a partner.
  • The atmospheric writing easily immerses the reader into the heart of the story.
  • A wonderful audio narrative from Edoardo Ballerini managed to keep me engaged and provide a steady pace.

Those small hiccups..

  • This was an initially uphill start that required a few chapters to really engage me. The connection with Stevens and Windermere took longer to establish than I would have liked. However, once it happened, I really enjoyed it.
  • The ending, while complete, felt excessively emotional and a touch overdone. But I am sure many will find gratification in it.

The end result was a worthwhile read that fostered a desire to explore this series further. Fans of crime fiction will likely find an appreciation for Laukkanen’s sophisticated and intricate style of writing that delivers a well-balanced plot and mystery.

*I would like to thank the publisher and Audiobook Jukebox for this copy. The above review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.

tea cup

Serves well with a nice cup of hot black tea (I favor Earl Grey) and a hint of warm milk to carry you through the descriptively cold world building.

Grab a Copy: Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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17 thoughts on “The Forgotten Girls by Owen Laukkanen

  1. Wonderful review, Danielle! What made you request the 6th book in this series though? 😮 It does however sound like it still delivered even if you never read any of the previous books in the series. This did remind me that it’s been a while since I picked up a police procedural though. Will remember of this series if I ever run into it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m usually wary of picking up a book in the middle of a series, so that’s high praise to hear it works well as a standalone! It’s also nice to hear that the author handles the procedural side of the investigation realistically. I don’t mind a little suspension of disbelief, but some detective novels can really strain that goodwill! I may go read the synopsis of the first book and decide if I’d rather start at the beginning or with a book I already know I’ll enjoy thanks to you 🙂 But this sounds perfect for a stormy weekend, so either way I’ll be checking this series out. Excellent review Danielle ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was an accident haha. When I requested this, I was unaware that it was part of a series. Luck was on my side though. There is not a lot of technicalities in this books, but it gives a nice sense of the relationship between partners and how they do and sometimes do not work together. I think that it would be so worth it to start with book one and see that relationship evolve. Thanks JJ!


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