Kate Ward
June 13, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

What Was Lost

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Catherine O'Flynn
publisher
Henry Holt and Company
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B+

Twenty years after a young girl goes missing, two forlorn British mall employees, Kurt and Lisa, bond over their melancholy and, later, over their connection to the girl’s case. Catherine O’Flynn’s sprawling debut novel is a fascinating look at urban change, and it’s easy to sympathize with her protagonists stuck in dead-end jobs. But it’s more than a bit misleading that What Was Lost‘s back cover promises a thriller-esque plot about a missing girl, when in actuality that story serves as a mere bookend to a more subtle, cleverly written study of Kurt and Lisa’s mutual ennui. B+

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