Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review: The Forgotten Girl by David Bell

The past has arrived uninvited at Jason Danvers’s door…

…and it’s his younger sister, Hayden, a former addict who severed all contact with her family as her life spiraled out of control. Now she’s clean and sober but in need of a desperate favor—she asks Jason and his wife to take care of her teenage daughter for forty-eight hours while she handles some business in town.

But Hayden never returns.

And her disappearance brings up more unresolved problems from Jason’s past, including the abrupt departure of his best friend on their high school graduation night twenty-seven years earlier. When a body is discovered in the woods, the mysteries of his sister’s life—and possible death—deepen. And one by one these events will shatter every expectation Jason has ever had about families, about the awful truths that bind them and the secrets that should be taken to the grave.

Paperback, 448 pages
Expected publication: October 7th 2014 by NAL Trade

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher NAL Trade via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is October 7, 2014.

This story is marketed as a suspense novel and delivers on that front.  From the start you are caught up in a mystery that is 27 years old.  Questions arise from the get go.

The reader enters Jason world where he is reminded of the disappearance of his high school best friend and the reappearance of his troubled sister and her seventeen year old daughter.  The reader is not told why his sister comes back in to his life just to disappear but knows that it is somehow linked.

I will admit that I was not surprised by any of the twists and turns in this story.  I was able to guess the answers to all of the question marks before they were revealed.  I'm not sure if this was intentional or not.  In this sense the story lacked a little bit of the wow factor for me.  This may not be the case for others.  I also found that Jason got on my nerves a bit with the way he was digging in to matters.  It just seemed out of character and he really didn't fit the mold of someone who will stop at nothing to find answers.

My last comment is surrounding the title of the story.  I am not really sure why it was called the Forgotten Girl.  Is it because of the sister who was out of Jason's life for so long, is it because of the daughter she left at his house?  I will never know.  This could be an endless topic for discussion for a book club.  For me, it just didn't seem to capture the essence of the story.

All in all this was a good read.  The writing was easy to follow and it had a mystery that readers could follow.  It was a pleasant afternoon spent.

About The Author

David J. Bell is the author of THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL. He is currently an Associate Professor of English at Western Kentucky University and can be reached via his website at, on Twitter at, and on Facebook at

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