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The Island of Lost Girls

"This gut-wrenching, of-the-moment crime thriller lays bare shocking depravity on a Mediterranean island that’s become a playground for the obscenely wealthy."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Suspensefully structured, with the action slipping between two timeframes before they collide in an almighty climax, Alex Marwood’s The Island of Lost Girls is a devastatingly resonant thriller.

In the words of one of its key characters, the novel lays bare how “wealth is so seductive. Its glittering beams can blind one to the ugliest realities”. It’s an absolute page-turner that exposes the kind of self-entitled, dehumanising disdain the super-wealthy can have for those who are not. That said, in this case the abuses of power and money are being watched by someone who’s had enough of being silenced. Someone who has revenge to take.

In the mid-eighties, everything changes on La Kastellana when the new duke welcomes the obscenely wealthy to his traditional island, among them Matthew Meade with his super yacht and super-spoiled teenage daughter Tatiana. When 12-year-old islander Mercedes first meets Tatiana, she’s dazzled by her lifestyle, but it’s not long before she sees Tatiana for what she is. But no one says no to the Meades – the wealthy have a way of getting what they want, and this sense of entrapment is chillingly evoked.

In 2016, while Mercedes works as a housekeeper for the Meades, Robin has come to the island to search for her missing daughter. When the police close ranks around the duke and the Meades, Robin knows she must be on the right track, but she’s running out of time.

Chiming with contemporary revelations about the abusiveness of the super-rich, this punch-packing page-turner deftly interweaves island history and legends about sirenas, “the lost souls of impure girls, flung into the dark and transformed by the ocean”.

Joanne Owen

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Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
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