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What Was Lost (2007)

by Catherine O'Flynn

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1,3259410,506 (3.67)137
In the 1980s, Kate Meaney is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing "suspects" and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press. Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa--stuck in a dead-end relationship--is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself.… (more)
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English (89)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Would like to give this more than 3 stars - call it 3 and a half. About a third the way through I got bored and started skimming it but once I figured out where the book was going I re-engaged and read it with real pleasure. Possibly my own inattention early on got in the way. It was the adult characters in the later timeline that came alive to me and it was that and the sense of an alien world right alongside our own world that I liked so much. The book slips cleverly between genres - I'm still not sure if the later time is meant to be our own world or a frightening parallel universe - could be read as either. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
I loved this book. Not quite sure what it was except maybe the general sadness of unmet expectations. The author provides for a bit of self-reflection (if one desires) regarding why we continue pouring time, money, and energy into unsatisfying habits. Every time I put this mystery down, I didn't have the dread of anticipation regarding what was coming next and the stress of determining whodunit. Rather, I had a stronger feeling of wanting to get to know the characters better because I was beginning to feel for them. The ending is such that it made me wish I was as clever as the missing little girl. She made a great impact on a fortunate soul, and we will never know what was truly lost. ( )
  nsol | Dec 21, 2020 |
Terrific book about loss wrapped up in a mystery and 1980's mall culture in the UK. Perfectly shows how an unstable upbringing can turn a child into a control freak. I definitely saw some of myself in Kate. She loves rules and structure, which is quite uncommon for a 10 year old girl. ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
Birmingham 1984: So oft sie kann, setzt sich die 10-jährige Kate mit Mickey, ihrem Stoffaffen, in den Bus und fährt hinaus in das große Einkaufszentrum Green Oaks. Als Detektivin spürt sie dort den dunklen Geheimnissen der Kunden nach und verfolgt »Verdächtige« bis in die letzten Winkel des Konsumtempels, der ihr mittlerweile vertrauter ist als ihr Zuhause. Doch dann verschwindet sie von einem Tag auf den anderen spurlos. Zwanzig Jahre später machen sich zwei ihrer mittlerweile erwachsenen Freunde von einst noch einmal auf die Suche, um herauszufinden, was damals wirklich geschah …
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
Great pieces, great writing, seems disconnected from itself. The illustration of a young girl creating a life out of so few good things is touching. Her love of her "How To Be A Detective" book resonates across the years.
  margaretfield | Jan 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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Written for Peter and dedicated to the memory of Donal of Hillstreet and Ellen of Oylegate.
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Crime was out there.
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In the 1980s, Kate Meaney is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing "suspects" and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press. Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa--stuck in a dead-end relationship--is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself.

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Precocious 10 year old sleuth goes missing. Intertwined characters take up an investigation of what happens 20 years later.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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