June Hur – The Forest of Stolen Girls

Title: The Forest of Stolen Girls
Author: June Hur
Year: 2021
Goodreads page: Link

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.
To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.
Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.
(from Goodreads)

A white mask and something evil rooms around the forest on Jeju Island!
A mystery that becomes more and more intriguing, little by little, as more details get added and makes it different from the usual abductions.

The pieces of the enigma will slowly start to fit together, letting the reader reason with the protagonist, creating his own hypothesis on how things went, and solving the case together.

As for the other book of the same author, danger will always be lurking during the investigation, but this time the protagonist will be on the first line as the proper investigator of the case.
The Protagonist was really good for the whole book but also ended up failing in a situation that was so incredibly obvious

SPOILER ALERT the protagonist now that there could be some poison involved… and she decided to lick an unknown substance found in the possession of one of the main suspects… I will let you imagine how it ends. END OF THE SPOILER PART

The use of untranslated Korean words was also present in the first book I read of this author but it wasn’t as frequent as in this book. Here there are various terms that could be easily translated, like “yes, mother, father…”, that are frequently written in Korean instead using a regular translation. Those of you that follow my reviews know how I dislike the use of terms in a foreign language when there is a perfect translation available… It always looks a lot like “using a language only because it’s cool and not to culturally enrich the novel”.

Despite these last two notes, the book is a really good historical crime novel! I totally recommend it if you are looking for something that is a mixture of mysteries, historical facts and suspense.

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