Book Review: The Lost Ones (Sheena Kamal) @sheena_kamal @WmMorrowBks

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I first discovered the work of Sheena Kamal when I read Eyes Like Mine, which was previously published in the UK. Now that book is being published in North American under the title The Lost Ones and I am thrilled that #cjsreads decided to read this for one of our July picks.

Not only is this book amazing, but it also features tons of Canadian content- which- let’s get real- I am completely biased about!

The book, which appears to be the first in a series, introduces a brand new anti-heroine with flawed, recovering addict, Nora Watts. Working as a PI and journalist, Nora finds herself caught up in the case of her missing daughter. Along with the help of her ex-sponsor, her employers and her sister, Nora begins the hunt for her daughter and gets wrapped up a parallel crime when one of her co-workers is murdered. This one had me glued to the pages and flipping rapidly to understand how all these moving pieces fit together.

My original review of this book can be found HERE, but since this is a #cjsreads title, keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one!

What Jessica Thought:

THE LOST ONES by Sheena Kamal was previously released in the UK under a different title, EYES LIKE MINE. This thriller, set in Canada, follows a woman on a bleak mission to find the daughter she gave up 15 years ago. Will she be able to make it through the streets to find Bonnie?
The story begins with a phone call – a call that Nora Watts has been dreading since the day she gave up her newborn for adoption, 15 years ago. Bonnie has disappeared, and with her record of running away, the police aren’t looking for her. Her adoptive parents are completely desperate, so they reach out to Nora in a last ditch effort.
Having been apart of the foster system then having to fend for herself on the streets, Nora sets out with nothing but her dog, Whisper, to go find Bonnie. On her journey through the streets of Vancouver to the icy mountains of the Canadian interior, she must face the events of her past in order to find her daughter. Her searching leads to a conspiracy and Nora soon finds herself in danger – she endures this all to find the girl she wishes was never even born.   Nora is a character you grow to love. For all of her flaws and what she’s endured in her past. Throughout the book we get flashbacks and get to see the events that lead to her deciding to put Bonnie up for adoption right after she was born. My only real complaint about this book was the pacing. It started really fast and drew me in, then there was a portion in the middle of the book where it slowed down a lot and started to lose me. I’m glad I kept going though, because I ended up really enjoying the book! Kamal did a great job with the scenery! I’m not Canadian, but being in Minnesota I’m basically Canada and it’s fun reading books where it’s set somewhere different.
Overall, if you want a great mystery and psychological thriller with a lovable anti-heroine, then this is the book for you!

I give this 4/5 stars!

What Chandra Thought:

Nora hasn’t had the easiest life.  She lives a solitary existence, trusting no one and working for an investigative company where she puts her talents to use.  In one of her interviews, she finds out that the girl she gave up for adoption 15 years ago has gone missing.  In her search for her, the past creeps up on her, her sobriety gets shaken and she has to confront the man that almost killed her.  Just how much more can this poor woman take?   I’m so blessed to have read so many GREAT debut novels this year and this is no different!  It especially spoke to me after reading the author’s essay on how she came to write this book and how she incorporates her own experiences into this. I highly recommend you read this if you can (I have posted it on my blog).  The nuances she brings to Nora and her experiences made me fall in love with this flawed protagonist.  For me this was more of a character driven book and I was hooked.  The further you read, the more layers you find to Nora’s characters and to see her progress, decline and try to come to terms with things far buried was quite the ride.   The other members of the “cast” were hard to like (which is fine by me!).  Nora’s sister is deplorable (though I can almost see her point of view), Brazuca (her AA sponsor) is a bit out there and does this stay-away-from-me but I’m-here-because-I-care thing, her bosses are lovable and trusting and the only stability in her life outside of her dog, Whisper, who chose her one day and became her lifeline.  Whisper is quite the character herself with her own issues and I LOVE her!    Overall a fantastic debut from Sheena.  Not only does she weave a tale, but she really integrates the history of Canada and the social issues involved, giving the reader a full sense of her knowledge.  I truly look forward to more of Sheena’s work as I only see great things coming our way.  And if you haven’t interacted with her via social media, you really should – she’s quite the delight!

4 stars.

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