lost girls

Title: The Lost Girls of Rome

Author: Donato Carrisi

Category: Mystery

Published: November 19, 2013 by Mulholland Books (first published 2011)

Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars

Add: Goodreads

Purchase: Amazon | Audible | Book Depository

A grieving young widow, seeking answers to her husband’s death, becomes entangled in an investigation steeped in the darkest mysteries of Rome.

Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sandra is convinced it was anything but.

Launching her own inquiries, Sandra finds herself on a dangerous trail, working the same case that she is convinced led to her husband’s murder. An investigation which is deeply entwined with a series of disappearances that has swept the city, and brings Sandra ever closer to a centuries-old secret society that will do anything to stay in the shadows.

I wanted to like The Lost Girls of Rome, I really did. The setting is fabulous and the author clearly knows, and loves, Rome. The characters are fascinating and a few are well-developed. But it was just too confusing, there’s too much going on and too many people. And it jumps between now and 5 years ago and yesterday and a year ago.

We’ve got Sandra, above, who is being led almost on a scavenger hunt through Rome to figure out what her now-dead husband had stumbled on. We’ve got a major Vatican secret, a few serial killers, a maybe priest, a maybe Interpol agent, a kidnapped girl, photos. They’re all good ingredients, but when you through them all in the pot you end up with mud soup. I kept reading, hoping that in the end it would be worth it. It wasn’t. The threads pulled together, but not in a way that satisfied me.

Reading other reviews, I have the minority opinion here. Maybe I’m just missing something, or expected more than I got. The writing is good and I felt like it could go somewhere. It could have been outstanding. Instead, it was disappointing.

It seems like I should have more to say about a book that was over 400 pages long, but I was lost most of the time.


  1. That’s too bad. The title and cover look so enticing.

    Have you read Poison by Sara Poole? It sounds a little similar, with lots of Vatican secrets and the murder of the main character’s father. It’s one of my all time favorites.

  2. Mary

    Can ANYONE explain this book to me?? Aside from the main plot, I got totally lost with the subplots…
    Who did the 8yr old grow up to be??
    Was the Interpol guy a priest/profiler??
    WHat happened to Clemente

    1. It’s been too long. I think I had bits figured out, but now I forget. To be honest, I don’t even remember who Clemente was. I do remember that the kid who stole identities grew up to be the guy who killed the priest and then stole his identity and “became” a priest because he didn’t have any memory. Does that make sense?

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