With so many thrillers/crime novels out there, it seems to be getting more difficult to create a unique protagonist, a different storyline.
But I must say that The Lost Ones opens with an intriguing premise. An early morning phone call. A meeting with some strangers at a cafe. Nora Watts, cautious, suspicious, because of her line of work and her own experience.
A married couple meets her to tell her their daughter is missing.
That Nora's daughter is missing.
The child she gave up for adoption as a newborn 15 years ago has disappeared. The police define her as a chronic runaway and can't be bothered. Her adoptive parents reach out to Nora as a last hope.
And Nora is suited for this kind of thing. She works as a receptionist/researcher for a private investigator. She has an ability to tell when people are lying – which obviously helps her in her line of work.
She also has a painful and violent experience in the past which has contributed to her inability to trust anyone – not her employees nor her sponsor – with the whole truth.
Nora at first is reluctant to be involved with this case – it digs up too much of her past. But she soon realizes that she's not the only one looking for Bonnie.
Nora is quite a character. She's got skeletons in the closet – perhaps more like demons than skeletons – and she's tough. She's the kind of person who doesn't give a damn what you think of her. She steals from a woman who is only just being kind to her. She's cold towards almost everyone except her beloved dog. And surprisingly – although on hindsight, maybe it's not surprising – violent.
And Kamal's Vancouver setting reflects that too. I've never been to Vancouver but have always thought of it as a picturesque, very wet city. So Nora's far more gritty and dirty version of Vancouver is intriguing, and completely apt.
The story is rather convoluted – perhaps a little too hard to believe at times – but it offers a rather exciting and thrilling read if you can suspend belief for a bit and sink into it. And that I did, and it was for an invigorating read, filled with all the grey and damp of Vancouver. It made me long to read this in chillier temps, snuggled under a comforter with a steaming hot cup of tea.
Strangely it is titled "Eyes Like Mine" in the UK.
I received this book from its publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for a review.