• Poland: Albatros
  • UK & BC: Sphere
  • US: HarperCollins
  • Published: 14th July 2022
  • Agent: Laetitia Rutherford

The Island of Lost Girls

Alex Marwood

Sun-drenched glamour and obscene wealth hide the darkest of secrets and lost girls in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller.


For twelve-year-old Mercedes, La Kastellana is the place she calls home. It is an island untouched by the modern world, with deep-rooted traditions – though that is all about to change with the arrival of multimillionaire Matthew Meade and his spoiled young daughter, Tatiana. The Meades bring with them unimaginable wealth, but the price they will all pay is far darker than Mercedes and the islanders could ever have imagined.

Robin is desperately searching for her seventeen-year-old daughter Gemma, who has been missing for over a year. Finding herself on La Kastellana, the island playground of the international jet set, Robin is out of her depth. Nobody wants to help and Robin fears she is running out of time to find her child.

But someone has been watching, silently waiting for their moment to expose the dark truth and reveal to the world what really happens on the island of lost girls.

“A stunning, genre-defying novel, poetic, immersive and as dazzling as the Mediterranean sun even as it pulls the reader through the darkest corridors of human behaviour. I was totally mesmerised, from the beautiful, slow-burn opening chapters right through to the gripping, stomach-churning finale. Alex Marwood is in a class of her own ”
Lisa Jewell
“A ripped-from-the-headlines thriller . . . I couldn't put it down”
Mark Edwards
“Gripping, timely and beautifully written. Marwood blends story-telling prowess with characters so real that we inhabit their predicaments quite viscerally. The result is irresistible”
Sophie Hannah
“A stiletto of a novel: heart stopping and devastating”
Jenny Coglan
“A blisteringly immersive summer read. Paradise has never been so dark and the world of the super-rich so terrifyingly believable. I'm still thinking about these characters days after reading”
Emma Styles
“Alex Marwood’s darkly topical, by Maxwell out of Epstein THE ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS pulses with mythic energy and devilishly clever storytelling.’ ”
Irish Times
“Marwood… goes beyond high-end trafficking, and looks at the misogynistic culture that allows exploitation to thrive. Grim but gripping.”
Sunday Independent