This is one mystery/thriller that I enjoyed despite not being terribly invested in the mystery itself. I was, however, captivated by the main character, Nora, and the more minor characters in her orbit. I think we can all agree the whole “P.I. with a substance abuse problem” thing has been done to death, but somehow Kamal makes the tired patterns seem fresh, and before I knew it I was rooting for Nora to both solve the mystery of her daughter’s disappearance and reckon with what happened to her 15 years ago that produced the daughter in the first place.
I found the emotional, human side of the ending to be far more interesting than the factual resolution of the case—but I suppose that’s a good thing. In my experience, thrillers read one after the other can start to all feel the same, so when I’m in the mood for a mystery, I often look for authors from diverse backgrounds or settings wildly different from my own Midwestern environs. Kamal’s book is set in western Canada and features a protagonist of mixed ethnicity. Both the setting and Nora’s ambiguous background feature prominently in the story and drive a lot of the action. (I gathered that Vancouver winters are very wet.)
Also, there’s a really awesome dog named Whisper, and who doesn’t love a P.I. with a canine sidekick?