"The Lost"

Pros: Enjoyably mysterious tales
Cons: One ending that left me a little flat
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review book (uncorrected proof) courtesy of Penguin Group.

 

The Lost is an anthology of four stories in “a world where the rules of love, of time, and of place can be forever lost.” Or in other words, reality is just a little bit flexible and mysterious!

The anthology starts off with an Eve Dallas story from J.D. Robb, Missing in Death. I’m once again reminded of Nora Roberts’ uncanny skill with words, as she manages to establish her unusual future setting in just a half-page of personality-filled writing. Also as usual, there are plenty of quotable lines in her tale of a disappearing corpse, a missing witness, and some unusual—and dangerous—technological developments. As always, her hard-boiled detective Eve Dallas is a joy to watch, and there’s plenty of Roarke, Peabody, and other major characters to satisfy fans and interest new readers.


 

As much as I love Eve Dallas, Patricia Gaffney’s The Dog Days of Laurie Summer is the tale from this book that truly caught me. A type A-plus realtor has an accident that puts her in a coma—able to see and hear her son and husband from time to time, but unable to communicate with them. Then the unthinkable happens, and she finds herself in possession of a unique opportunity to experience, observe, and interact with her family from a new perspective. Unfortunately, what she learns about herself in the process isn’t always wonderful—and her chance to regain her family may be slipping away. This tale has a not-entirely-new premise, but it carries out its events in gorgeously personal and heart-breaking detail.

Mary Blayney’s Lost in Paradise introduces us to a man who is cursed to remain stuck in time behind the walls of an island fortress. A modern-day nurse with a penchant for singing hymns is shipwrecked on his shores, and she becomes his unlikely hope for redemption. This was an interesting and enjoyable tale—a take on the Beauty and the Beast theme—but a bit predictable.

Ruth Ryan Langan’s Legacy follows a young woman as she indulges an old man’s attempt to find out whether she’s his long-lost granddaughter. The story itself is beautiful, including a sweet romance, some lovely explorations of family, and a gorgeous Irish locale. Unfortunately the ending left me a little flat. Let’s just say it wasn’t entirely satisfying to me in one respect, and was too sappy-cute in another. (I can’t really say more without spoiling it.)

 

All in all, this is an enjoyable book that will hopefully either indulge your taste for authors you already know and love, or give you a chance to check out some great voices you should probably be reading! I know for my part I’ll be keeping an eye out for Patricia Gaffney’s work from now on.

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