Nora Watts is approached by a couple who had long ago adopted the daughter she gave up fifteen years ago. Bonnie, a teenager marked as a chronic runaway, has gone missing and the adoptive parents have come to Nora for help in locating her when the police are of no help. Being a product of life on the streets, Nora is all too familiar with what happens to girls in this environment and sets out to find the daughter she never knew. Along the way, she uncovers a conspiracy that leads her across the Canadian landscape.
The Lost Ones was an interesting journey of a story, touching on many important issues such as alcoholism, homelessness and the treatment of indigenous people. Nora is very much a flawed character, battling as many inner demons as outer ones. Kamal’s writing is compelling and descriptive, setting the scenes and characters for the first book in a new series.
The premise for this novel is very intriguing, yet something about it didn’t completely click for me. I enjoyed the mystery thriller portions of it, and I generally like reading stories with flawed protagonists. The Canadian setting was also a plus, yet in spite of all these factors I didn’t feel connected to it. I couldn’t connect to Nora at all and felt the interactions between characters stunted. While the conspiracy she unravels was fascinating to see unfold, I thought the pacing at times felt a bit unbalanced.
That being said, there was enough about this book that caught my attention to be curious for the next in its series. I’d be interested to see where Kamal takes these characters in the world she’s developed.