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.
It’s kind of difficult to explain a book that damn near requires you to keep a scratch pad or dry erase board handy in order to keep people and plot points straight, but I’ll give it a go.
Thomas Locke is not just a detective, he’s a detective capable of finding anything, anywhere, no matter how long lost or how well hidden. He is the “found” half of The Office of Lost & Found, a place that has no fixed location, but rather metaphysically migrates – along with Locke and all the contents of the office – to wherever it happens to be needed.
Locke’s partner is a… well, we’ll call him a man, named Lafarge. Lafarge brings new meaning to the term shadowy, literally only appearing as a tall, dark figure cloaked deep in shadows. He is the “lost” half of The Office of Lost & Found, and you better be sure you really want something lost before seeking his help, because things Lafarge loses stay lost. Permanently.
When Veronica Drysdale’s husband goes missing she hires Locke to find him. Little could she have imagined she’d learn that far more important things had been lost to her, things she didn’t even know were missing and which she’ll only be able to reclaim by making a deal – against Locke’s advice – with the mysterious Lafarge. (more…)