Review: Roberta Kray's third in a series of London gangland mysteries, The Lost, has private investigator Harry Lind in search of a "ghost", a woman he's told exists but who is believed to have died years ago as a child.
Harry Lind was once a crackerjack detective on the London Police Force. On the location of a raid when a bomb explodes, he is injured to the extent that he could no longer perform his duties in the field. Leaving the police force, he becomes a private investigator hoping to continue working in an active environment.
The boss of London's most notorious gang, Ray Stagg, had hired Harry to look into why his wife, Ellen, is visiting another gang lord in prison, serving a life's sentence for murder. Stagg is sure he knows some secret Ellen is hiding. Stagg, too, wants to find anyone with knowledge of a missing person, his brother-in-law. While chatting with a reporter, he hears a story about a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to a supposedly dead child, but doesn't think much of it until he realizes that the woman may be Ellen. Is it possible that Ellen is little Grace, a child that disappeared 20 years ago and whose badly decomposed body was subsequently discovered? Harry, together with, Jessica Vaughn, a young, determined reporter who had always believed that Grace was alive, begin their search for the truth. They are lured into the world of London's most notorious gangsters who will kill to preserve their secrets. And while Harry wants to put the criminals he has unearthed away for life, in doing so he may bring out secrets of a murder of twenty years ago, which for all may be best forgotten.
The Lost is an intriguing mystery until the end, and in some ways even after the last page has been read. There are a lot of well-drawn characters, some important and others merely on the periphery, with interlocking relationships that tend to be confusing at times. Still, the narrative pulls the reader forward as the plot threads are slowly unraveled. In the end, though, it is a story of truths and lies, misplaced love and loyalties, but most of all secrets to be to be brought to light even if the cost is heavy.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Lost.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of The Lost for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Lost: London, England
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The Lost by Roberta Kray
Publisher: Soho Constable
Publication Date: May 2008
List Price: $24.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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