Otter Creek Lost Girls (Le ragazze perdute di Otter Creek)

Le ragazze perdute di Otter Creek

Self Published
May 3 2018
May 27, 2019 June 11, 2019

Vermont, January 1988.
Nine-year-old Sean Grayson is found stunned in the woods near his home, while his little sister Kelsie, six and a half years old, has mysteriously disappeared.

Thirty years later, circumstances bring Sean back to the area where Kelsie has vanished. In that context, he comes into contact with evidence linking his sister to a series of girls whose disappearances remain an unsolved mystery. It is therefore possible that Kelsie may have been one of the victims of a serial killer known as "the killer of Otter Creek".

Stephanie Callahan, a former journalist and best-seller author, is commissioned by her agent to investigate the disappearances for a possible new book. He needs to find out if the notorious Otter Creek killer could be anything more than a local legend. This is the last chance for Stephanie to bring her failed career back on track and face her personal demons.

But discovering the secrets of the past can have dangerous consequences. Sean and Stephanie are being dragged into a web of deceit, lies and murders. A network that has lasted intact for more than forty years, and that still does not cease to trap its victims.

When their destinies cross each other, Sean and Stephanie will have to learn that digging into the secrets of the past can bring out much more than truth.

About the book

Otter Creek Lost Girls (directly translated from the Italian title, no English version for now), is a novel written by Phil Kansel of whom very little is known. He doesn’t have a profile on, he isn’t on Wikipedia and apparently he doesn’t have a website, twitter or facebook or he doesn’t advertise them. says that he wrote at least 9 books but that they aren’t translated in English despite the author’s name is not Italian (but this is not a problem, many Italians do not have Italian names). Furthermore, this book is set in America.

The story is about missing girls, cases that aren’t investigated because as soon as a certain person is named, everything disappears. Everything revolves around Sean’s family, who at 9 years is found lying in the snow. At the same time his younger sister disappears. What is behind this disappearance? And the other girls? Where did they go?

There are two protagonists, Sean and a writer Stephanie. She is an author of a True Crime book that has been successful but now she has to write something else to support herself and her agent invites her to go to Vermont to find the truth about the missing girls. Here she meets Sean who has just inherited his father’s house and together they try to find the truth.

I liked the book, the compelling story line, there are some gaps in some places and I find it too hasty, but it’s a good book. I like that it talks about a fact happened in the past and that only now everything comes to light. I like the protagonists and like Renee’s sister, I hope Sean becomes “Stephanie’s man”, but I don’t know if there will be a sequel.

I like the end, not about the case (even if I like that, too) the real ending of the book. And as the author says it is nice to hope, even if I knew it was going to end like that.

Now I’ll be a bit cryptic but I don’t want to reveal anything, so only those who have read the book will understand who I’m talking about. The police arrests “that person” (I won’t tell you who) they have the evidence, but how did they find that person? Were they going to arrest “him/her”? Because from how it is written it seems that they met him/her by chance.

There is a flaw in this book and that is the Italian language. I’m not a luminary of Italian, I make mistakes and surely those who read my reviews sometimes say “but which Italian are you using?”. But I understand when something isn’t right in my own language and here the Italian is painful. I mean, I don’t write books or translate, I don’t make a living writing reviews so even if my Italian is a little poor, that’s okay, but this author writes for money and I find his grammar highly ungrammatical. The “consecutio” doesn’t exist, even prepositions and articles are missing. For example, I quote the book, translating it in English: “Breathing deeply, he descends from the Dodge, crosses the gate and walked along the stone path that leads to the door”. Do you understand what I mean? He switched from the present to the past in the same sentence. It looks like to me that he didn’t read it again after the first time. Right from the start I realized that something was wrong. Usually books are written with the past tense, but not here. I don’t know if the author is Italian with a foreign name or if he translated himself because I don’t have the name of the translator so it is very likely that it is written in Italian (and seeing on Goodreads, there are only Italian titles). For heaven’s sake, maybe it is self produced and has no staff to beta read, but I find it impossible. I also find it strange that he writes his novels set in America, if he is Italian, but I understand this if he’s American. I understand that writing in another language is not easy, it happens to me every day, but I don’t gain anything from my mistakes.

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