The Lost Ones Expected publication July 25, 2017 William Morrow
Eyes Like Mine Published February 9th 2017 Zaffre (UK)
This novel has two titles “Eyes Like Mine” (UK) and “The Lost Ones”
I read the description of this novel and was immediately intrigued.
I have noticed recently that I hate hearing the phone ring. The sound instantly puts me on edge…..especially at night. So I can only imagine how Nora Watts feels when her phone rings at 5AM and a man named tells her she may know something about a missing girl. She agrees to meet Everett Walsh and his wife at a local diner. They are well-groomed and driving an expensive car. They are obviously an affluent couple.
Nora asks them who referred them to her. They tell her that they hired someone to find HER. Nora is very confused now…. the man repeats what he told her on the phone, that their daughter is missing. Then his wife drops a bomb on Nora with her next statement…..
“HER daughter is missing. Did you tell her that?”
Nora is in shock. They are talking about the baby she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago. But that was a sealed adoption. No one should know who she is. Before she can dwell on that, they thrust a picture at her. Nora instantly sees she’s looking at a picture of her daughter. The unique eyes are identical to her own. She analyses the picture and can see that the girls smile doesn’t reach her eyes. It looks like she’s only pretending to be happy.
Her name is Bronwyn (Bonnie) and she’s been missing for two weeks. She lied and said she was going camping, stole money and has not been heard from since. She’s done this before so the police won’t do much to find her. They call her a chronic runaway.
But she has ALWAYS come home before. Nora can see that Everett is an emotional wreck. His wife is cool and patronizing… she insinuates that it is Nora’s fault their daughter is acting this way. The whole Nature vs. Nurture….that Nora’s nature is influencing Bonnie even though they’ve never met.
“like she has run off to be with her true family and together we will live a wasteful, booze-soaked life. That we will laugh at them from over the tops of our forties.”
Nora tells them she hasn’t heard from Bonnie and walks out. Everett follows her, still wanting her help. Nora is hesitant to get involved. She wonders how they know so much about her. How did they know that she looks for missing people for a living?
Will Nora help find their/her daughter?
Next, a girl is sitting by a lake. She has been attacked. She has no idea what to do but knows she needs to get moving. She hopes that soon “They” will think she’s dead and stop looking for her.
My first thought is that the girl is Bonnie…but is it?
Nora’s bosses call her their “expert bullshit detector” She locates witnesses and then sits in on the interviews to see if the people are lying. She sees the stuff that people are trying to hide. It’s her specialty.
“There’s a feeling I get when a lie is told. A disgust that creeps up when a liar is doing her best to muck things up or, more likely, save her own ass. Oftentimes, I can’t put my finger on it; I can only tell when I see it. And years in foster care honed this skill to an art”
Her bosses are good to her. They don’t pry into her life or push into her personal space. However, they don’t realize she’s been living in the basement of the office building with her dog, Whisper.
I really enjoyed this novel. It was chock full of interesting characters, suspense, twists and even humor. Nora is an unlikely hero. She’s not always likeable….not by a long shot, but she has a strength and resilience that I admire. The things she has been through would have broken most people. The voice she hears every night in her nightmares. Nora has many secrets and to say that she has trust issues is putting it mildly. Right away you can understand why she has those trust issues and why her only real companion and confidant is her dog, Whisper.
Oh I LOVED Whisper! The personality of this dog was written so well. I could visualize this mutt and Nora walking the streets of Vancouver. Whisper and Nora were perfect together and many of the funniest moments included the dog.
Sheena Kamal did a wonderful job of bringing her characters to life. Characters I loved and the some I didn’t. Oh I really disliked some. Nora’s sister, Lorelei for one. Nora says “She has an angel’s face but the tongue of a shrieking harpy”. But Nora understands why her sister is the way she is. However, that didn’t stop me from wanting to jump into the book and throttle Lorelei.
There was a lot of action in this novel but it wasn’t really hard to keep up. Although I will say that the reader should be prepared to suspend belief now and then as there were a few things that didn’t seem entirely plausible. However, it really didn’t dampen the story for me. I was caught up in what was happening and what was going to happen next.
Did I say how much I loved the dog?
An extremely interesting, well-written debut novel. I’m happy to hear that there will be a sequel to this book as I really want to know what happens next!
Thank you NetGalley and Zaffre, for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.