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Erin Kinsley’s Found centres on every parent’s nightmare, the abduction of an eleven-year-old boy from a bus stop on his way back home from school. The book details the devastating impact on Evan’s immediate family and the best friend who had just been with him and the reality of an over-subscribed police force, crying out for funding and staff, forced to turn their attention elsewhere when the trail quickly runs cold. In this case, Evan turns up months later alive, recovered by sheer luck and the kindness and intervention of strangers. There are no fairy tale endings though. Evan is so traumatised he can barely speak, finding it difficult to reconnect with or trust anyone, even his own mother who so desperately wants him to be the same boy who left. But for Evan, the world is simply not a safe place.

Kinsley’s Evan is an authentic character, so damaged by what has happened to him that he cannot and will not speak of it, even if it can help prevent another child from suffering a similar fate. Pulled in different directions by his parents, the police and the media, Evan retreats. Only his strong bond to his salt-of-the-earth grandparents, Jack and Dora, seems to give him some respite and when he goes to stay with them, away from the demands and attention of his old home, things began to change.

‘The hills are becoming familiar. He likes to look out at them. At home, he doesn’t like looking out. There are too many people about and he doesn’t like to be seen. … If he wanted to he could take the chair away from his door, walk out of the house and into the landscape. … No one would bother him. No one would stop him.

Evan feel something shifting in his shoulders and his back. The muscles are looser, more relaxed. It’s true no one would stop him. He can come and go as he pleases.

He’s free.’

Kinsley skilfully creates a believable landscape. The police, especially DI Naylor, are torn between genuine compassion for the boy and his family, guilt at having let them down and the frustration of knowing that Evan might hold the information they need to break a larger paedophile network.

This is a very good read. Highly recommended.

 

Erin Kinsley | Found | Headline | July 2019 | paperback original | £7.99 |

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Acknowledgements: Book text quotes © Nicola Cloke 2019. Many thanks to Anne Cater, as always, and to the publisher for sending a review copy. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

Also of interest:The July Girls’; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’;‘Yvonne Battle-Fenton’s Rememembered‘; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘Louise Voss’ The Old You‘; ‘Joseph Knox, what’s not to love?’; ‘Stephanie Butland, bringing women into focus‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘Helga Flatland’s study of A Modern Family’;  ‘Blood Orange’; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love); ‘Vanda Symon; ‘Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist‘; Gina Kirkham’

This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.

 

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