Avery Broussard has the curse of seeing lost things (and make no mistake about it, it is a curse). Missing belongings and beloved pets, lost love and loved ones—she sees it all. Long ago, that curse destroyed her own chance at true love, causing her to flee her Louisiana home, vowing never to return. She’s kept that promise too, until a phone call from her estranged grifter father forces her hand. Her big brother is dying, and she may be his last remaining hope.Avery wants nothing more than to rescue her brother, but doing so pulls her into a labyrinth of lies and deceit rooted in her own lost love and her family’s twisted history. It doesn’t help that a little girl has gone missing, and the abduction is tied to a killer Avery failed to help the FBI catch. With no time to spare, Avery realizes her curse might well be the only thing she can trust. Is it too much to hope that she might save her brother and find the missing girl before she becomes the killer’s next victim? (Synopsis from Amazon)
THE SAINTS OF THE LOST AND FOUND is undoubtedly the hardest review I’ve written to date. It’s required a lot of time and thought. Avery’s story isn’t typical or easy.
My introduction to T.M. Causey was Bobbie Faye, the South’s answer to Jersey girl Stephanie Plum. When Bobbie Faye disappeared I searched, in vain, for something by Ms. Causey, until THE SAINTS OF THE LOST AND FOUND. It’s a fine Southern Gothic but it is dark. We’re talking so dark there’s times you can’t see your hand in front of your face. I can go there; the dark often calls. I can’t read light all the time. You have to have balance to appreciate each. However, there’s one aspect that should, and normally would, have shut this down for me, children in peril. That’s something I simply don’t handle well and it’s extremely rare that I’ll read books centered on that premise. But this was Bobbie Faye’s creator so…
Up front, let’s be clear that Avery Broussard is as far from Bobbie Faye as you can get and still be in the same universe. She and her brother carry heavy, painful loads and you have to wonder how they’ve managed it, day in and day out. In fact, few of these characters are unscathed.
The children in peril aspect hurt my heart something terrible. I cried more with this book than I’ve cried in ages, but simply could not quit reading for love nor money. There were elusive threads right below the surface that glimmered now and again; like constantly catching fleeting glimpses of something you can’t quite make out from the corner of your eye. And those bits were combining with present bits to keep me guessing, thinking, and praying for justice. To be honest the latter was more along the lines of vigilante style because anything less would be too easy. The denouement left me stunned in disbelief, balling, and exhausted.
I’m glad I read THE SAINTS OF THE LOST AND FOUND. It’s an excellent example of Southern Gothic and finely written. It stays with you long after it’s over and visits you when you least expect it. The kind of book that shakes you out of your complacency. But, it’s also the type of story I can only read once a year. It’s hard, it hurts, and it wrings you out emotionally.
If you can handle the dark until you reach that faint glimmer of light, it’s well worth it.