Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mystery Book Review: The Lost by Roberta Kray

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Lost by Roberta Kray. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Lost by Roberta KrayBuy from Amazon.com

The Lost by
Non-series

Soho Constable (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-56947-506-7 (1569475067)
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-506-5 (9781569475065)
Publication Date: May 2008
List Price: $24.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Private eye Harry Lind doesn't believe in ghosts. Little Grace Harper went missing over twenty years ago, and missing girls can't just reappear - or can they? It takes a brutal murder to make him think again. Reporter Jess Vaughan is convinced that Grace is still alive but she's going to need some help to prove it. As she and Harry begin to unravel an age-old web of deceit and betrayal their discoveries soon put them on a collision course with one of London's most notorious gangsters. The search for the truth is about to lead them into a world where people will kill to preserve their secrets.

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 for contributing her review of The Lost and to Soho Press for providing an ARC of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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