Adam Nevill’s latest novel is a story so grounded with its intricate and intimate descriptions and yet so worldly in its narration that it can’t help but be an intoxicating read. Lost Girl sets itself in a nearby future where much of the world has become something of a dystopia, fraught with environmental damage and countries becoming impossibly full due to refugees. However, one man, a lonely father, can barely notice these things as he is lost in a desperate hunt for his daughter, snatched from him several years ago. With the world in the state that it’s in, no dependable police force has the time or manpower to rescue one little girl, leaving the father almost completely alone in his search. But in such a broken state, how far may he go to find his daughter?
Throughout the novel Nevill shows that he’s a master of pacing. The more the story develops, the more the reader discovers about this ruin of a world, which is eerily similar to today’s world of refugee crisis after refugee crisis. That deepening of how unbalanced the world in Lost Girl is heightens the father’s own disturbed frame of mind. That’s all we know about the main character name-wise as well – he spends his time in the novel simply known as the father. Such a tactic either makes the father a vague character, and sends the novel spiralling into some kind of self-inflicted mess, or lends the novel an enriching sense of tense insanity, depending on how far the reader is willing to travel down this subtlety horrific road.
Lost Girl is sublime in its jaggedness. There may be times when it becomes too self-indulgent for its own good, but Nevill concocts a unique, paranoid vision of dystopian drama that’s nigh impossible not to get sucked into.
LOST GIRL / AUTHOR: ADAM NEVILL / PUBLISHER: PAN / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 22ND