When eleven-year-old Fiona Crane’s family move to a little town called Lost Lake, taking Fiona away from all her friends, just so that sister Arden can be closer to the skating rink, Fiona is hurt, angry and really fed up. It seems that all that ever matters to her parents is Arden’s potential Olympic career. Refusing to attend Arden’s practice skating sessions, Fiona is left to spend the morning at Lost Lake’s library, once the mansion of local wealthy woman Margaret Chisholm, where she finds an old leather-bound book, called The Lost One. The opening paragraph of this book immediately has Fiona gripped. And no wonder, it’s about two sisters who did everything together, ‘but only one of them disappeared.’
In this story within a story, I also found the tale of Hazel and Pearl, the sisters from The Lost One, gripping. Fiona relishes the parallels in the story of sisters whose relationship deteriorates until one of them disappears, feeling that her life too would be better without her older sister. However The Lost One is no ordinary book, but one which mysteriously disappears and re-appears, and Fiona suspects a shadowy figure is following her, one that resembles The Searcher involved in the disappearance of the sister in the book. It seems that The Lost One is not a work of fiction but a true story, and in some mysterious way intertwined with Fiona and Arden’s lives. Fiona has to solve the mystery of one sister’s disappearance before Lost Lake experiences another sibling tragedy.
I was hooked pretty much from the start in this spooky, atmospheric tale spanning across decades and with the lives of two different families at stake. The author expertly juggles the two stories, making it difficult to put down the book. Fiona is relatable, even when she acts meanly to Arden, and she and her sister, just like Hazel and Pearl, have to work out their misunderstandings and put aside their squabbles. I really like the relationship between the two sets of sisters, I love how the story unfolds, it’s very well written, and overall I think the book is a great read.
All in all, highly recommend. TOTP says ten out of ten diamonds.