What Was Lost Paperback – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a very unusual subject matter - initially you'd think "What the hell..." because it's about a little girl who goes missing after starting up her own detective agency. It's set in the UK and the dialogue is absolutely spot on. Character knowledge is wonderful ... I LOVED this novel. I couldn't put it down ... totally captivated me. The writing style is very fluid, clear and unpretentious ... but then I could identify with the era, music, characters and Birmingham ... wish I'd written it :) Can't wait to read more from Catherine O'Flynn.
This young ten year old detective one day disappears and her body is never found. An adult friend is taken in and questioned and blamed for the murder, but no proof is ever found, so no charges are ever laid.
The book jumps back and forth from 1984, 2003 and 2004. The first part of the book has us following Kate around town with her stuffed monkey performing detective work; it is quite charming and heart breaking, because she is so isolated from real childhood. Kate disappears and then the book follows characters that were affected or involved in some way with her disappearance.
I found myself laughing at some of the retail experiences in the book, they could only have been written by someone who has experienced the retail world first hand, and it turns out that Catherine O'Flynn at one time was a record store clerk. "What Was Lost" does have a depressing look out on regular everyday life and it seems to portray the idea that we all generally live in drudgery; hopefully we do find more joy in life than this book portrays. All in all it was a great story and it made me ponder about my life and the life of others and it has inspired me to "carpe diem".
An interesting subplot develops between Teresa, a tearaway and Kate. Teresa’s fate comes full circle when, because she takes Kate’s place in an entry exam, works herself up to policewoman, who becomes instrumental in solving the mystery of Kate’s disappearance. Hidden horrors are glimpsed behind net curtains, such as Teresa’s tack at keeping her abusive ‘father’ subdued, showing that crime lurks in hidden places, but remains unreported in Kate’s notebook. The reader is then left with Kate’s disappearance.
Kurt, Green Oaks’ security guard continues the story 19 years later, when he is disturbed to see a ghostly figure on CCTV that would appear to be Kate. Green Oaks is as much a character as Kate and Kurt, keeper of secrets and a little bit creepy. It lives through its many voices of visitors and shoppers, such as a glue sniffer, DJ and a mother. Humour is buried within tragedy, such as dull Ed who strives for a brooding noir persona when from middle classed Solihull and his boss, Dave, who pairs effete words with curses when irritated.
This story is about ghosts in its many guises, those that live within us and imprints left over time. Kurt’s past haunts him and we get the sense he knows more than he lets on.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I felt that the first 1/3 of the book was enchanting, learning about Kate Meaney and her world of being a detective. The author set it up wonderfully. Read morePublished on May 5 2011 by Kate
I'm not quite sure what to say about this novel. In fact I'm not even sure where I heard about it from. What's the book about? Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2009 by NorthVan Dave