2017 Book 262: THE LOST ONES by Sheena Kamal

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal 
ISBN: 9780062565907 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062670816 (HarperLuxe – large print)
ISBN: 9780062565761 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062659910 (audiobook)
ASIN: B01GZS36K6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 25, 2017 
Publisher: William Morrow 

Recommended for summer reading by TIME magazine

“A brave, unflinching heroine and brave, unflinching writing add up to an extraordinary debut–highly recommended.”–Lee Child

A dark, compulsively readable psychological suspense debut, the first in a new series featuring the brilliant, fearless, chaotic, and deeply flawed Nora Watts—a character as heartbreakingly troubled, emotionally complex, and irresistibly compelling as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole.

It begins with a phone call that Nora Watts has dreaded for fifteen years—since the day she gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Bonnie has vanished. The police consider her a chronic runaway and aren’t looking, leaving her desperate adoptive parents to reach out to her birth mother as a last hope.

A biracial product of the foster system, transient, homeless, scarred by a past filled with pain and violence, Nora knows intimately what happens to vulnerable girls on the streets. Caring despite herself, she sets out to find Bonnie with her only companion, her mutt Whisper, knowing she risks reopening wounds that have never really healed—and plunging into the darkness with little to protect her but her instincts and a freakish ability to detect truth from lies.

The search uncovers a puzzling conspiracy that leads Nora on a harrowing journey of deception and violence, from the gloomy rain-soaked streets of Vancouver, to the icy white mountains of the Canadian interior, to the beautiful and dangerous island where she will face her most terrifying demon. All to save a girl she wishes had never been born.

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Nora Watts is a survivor. She survived the Canadian foster care system. She survived living on the streets. She survived being kidnapped, beaten, raped and left for dead. She survived waking up from a coma to find out she was pregnant with her rapist’s child. She struggles every day to overcome her alcoholism. Can she survive knowing that the child she gave up fifteen years ago has disappeared and no one in authority seems to care? This is just one of the questions raised in the debut suspense-thriller, The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal.

Nora Watts is struggling to stay on an even keel. She works part-time as a research associate for a journalist and private investigator and lives in the basement of the office building where she works with a rescued dog. Nora doesn’t really have friends and has alienated her one surviving family member, a younger sister, along with her recovery sponsor. Although life is a struggle, Nora is a survivor and she fights to maintain her sobriety and rebuild her life. All that may come crumbling down when she receives a call and finds out that the child she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago has disappeared and the police don’t seem interested in looking for the child. A seemingly simple case of finding a lost child quickly becomes anything but simple and may have ties to a multi-national corporation, a top-flight security firm, and Nora’s kidnapping and rape all those years ago. As Nora finds answers to some questions, more alarming questions are raised. Who can Nora turn to for support? Will she be able to find answers and her missing daughter before it is too late?

It has been a bit of a struggle over the past 10 days to focus on blog reading due to back-to-back family medical emergencies. Days spent in a noisy hospital environment when you’re a chronic migraineur equals an inhospitable environment for reading (fluorescent lighting, loud sounds, pungent smells, etc.). Having said all that, once I started The Lost Ones I was quickly pulled into the story and successfully able to tune out all of the background distractions and read this story in one afternoon. I found Nora to be a deeply flawed but somewhat likable character that I began to cheer on. Nora isn’t the nicest person in the world, but once you realize everything she’s overcome it is easy to make some allowances for her flaws. The story takes multiple twists and turns as it progresses and I wasn’t quite sure how Ms. Kamal was going to pull it all together, but she does and does so quite well in my opinion. The Lost Ones isn’t just about a search for a missing child, it’s also about self-discovery and an awakening of a complex character with a host of flaws. Ms. Kamal isn’t graphic in her description of Nora’s rape, but the rape and beating aren’t glossed over either. All of the characters presented have their flaws and I found that to be incredibly realistic and appealing. Yes, there are bad guys in the story and they do some horrible things (no, I’m not going to tell you what horrible things…read the book!). If you’re a fan of suspense-thrillers or just enjoy reading books with intense and complex characters, then you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of The Lost Ones to read. If you’re not sure about suspense-thrillers but want something different to read, look no further and grab yourself a copy of The Lost Ones. I enjoyed reading The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Meet the author:

Sheena Kamal holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. Kamal has also worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry—academic knowledge and experience that inspired this debut novel. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Find out more about Kamal at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Author: thebookdivasreads

I'm a reader, an avid reader, or perhaps a rabid reader (at least according to my family). I enjoy reading from a variety of different genres but particularly enjoy fiction, mystery, suspense, thrillers, ChickLit, romance and classics. I also enjoy reading about numerous non-fiction subjects including aromatherapy, comparative religions, herbalism, naturopathic medicine, and tea.

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