The Office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen
Cover and layout by Vincent Holland-Keen
Thomas Locke can find anything. You know the hurricane that hit a while back? Word is he found the butterfly that started it. So, when a desperate Veronica Drysdale hires Locke to find her missing husband, it makes perfect sense.
Except the world of Thomas Locke doesn’t make sense. It puts monsters under the bed, makes stars fall from the sky and leads little children to worship the marvels of road-works.
This world also hides from Veronica a past far darker and stranger than she could ever have imagined. To learn the truth, Veronica is going to have to lose everything.
And that’s where Locke’s shadowy business partner Lafarge comes in…
Opening Paragraphs of The Office of Lost and Found
HE WOKE UP from nothing into a dark room with a single window. A cat figurine sat on the floor next to where he lay.
He stared at the ornament, waiting for his memory to explain the situation, but his memory was gone.
He knew a world existed beyond these walls and he knew it was full of people and places and facts and figures and he knew he must have lived a life there, but the details were lost to him.
He became very afraid. He curled tightly into a ball and closed his eyes and prayed that if he waited long enough, maybe at least his name would come back to him.
A breeze touched his face, followed by a faint scratching at his nose.
He opened his eyes. A piece of paper fluttered weakly on the floor before him. A message was written upon it in thick black ink:
‘Your name is Thomas Locke. You work for me now.’
He looked up and around, both hopeful and fearful that the author was here. That was when he saw the shadow within the shadow for the first time.
The Eloquent Page The thing to remember is that this isn’t your typical, by the numbers, urban fantasy this is something completely different. This novel is going to challenge your perceptions and force you to use the old grey matter. Underneath this splendidly quirky detective story there is an interesting on-going commentary about the nature of belief and those that choose to be believers. The key thing to remember when reading this metaphysical mind-bender, to paraphrase The Matrix, is that ‘there is no spoon’.
Elizabeth A White was very kind about this and the YA follow on Billy’s Monsters : To call Vincent Holland-Keen’s debut novel The Office of Lost & Found merely “strange” is an understatement of epic proportions. Of course, in my world strange means creative, original, enchanting, challenging, and mind-blowing, which means the über strange of The Office of Lost & Found makes for an amazing read; one of my Top 10 of 2011 in fact.
Crime writer Luca Veste ‘The Office of Lost and Found’ is a novel unlike anything you are likely to read this year. Probably next year as well. It’s staggeringly different to anything else I’ve read since picking up a copy of a Douglas Adams book when I was a teenager, really enjoying it and then never reading anything in the same vein since. With character names which border on the ridiculous, situations which still make no sense to me and a plot which continually surprises right up to the end, ‘The Office of Lost and Found’ should find its way onto every readers shelf at some point.
Tony Lane I would recommend this book to anybody who is slightly unhinged or at least open to the possibility that pan-dimensional aliens are already walking amongst us. It is a wild and thoroughly enjoyable read that I will be recommending to my friends, and certainly reading again at a later date.