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What Was Lost Paperback – Apr 1 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Tindal Street (April 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955138418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955138416
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,710,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What Was Lost
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.
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Format: Paperback
Kate Meaney is a ten year old girl who lives a solitary life; she fills her life with surveillance of banks and keeping notes in her detective's journal. Her pursuit in life is to prevent a bank robbery and to become a famous detective. She is pretty much left to herself and she wanders the streets and mall freely. Kate does befriend one girl at school in a distant sort of way and in the end Kate leaves this friend a priceless gift...the gift to escape her abusive life through education.

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".
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Format: Paperback
This odd thriller is split into two time frames, 19 years apart. 10 year old Kate opens the story with her set up of Falcon Investigations, aided by Mikey, her toy chimp. Her narrative would at first seem inconsequential observations within a shopping centre called Green Oaks. We learn about the meats Mr. Watkins displays in his window and a resident tramp looting for a discarded burger in the bins. Kate strikes an unlikely friendship with Adrian, a 22 year old neighbour, both trapped by loss and loneliness.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I'm no literary expert. I read to be entertained and this book held me to the end. The characters are real, especially our little Kate Meaney. She made me laugh. You are drawn into a world of sadness and hopelessness and yet the human spirit prevails. I couldn't put this book down and I can't wait for her next novel. Really one of the best stories I've read!
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