Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Saints of the Lost and Found by T.M. Causey

First Sentence:  I see lost things.
Avery Broussard’s ability to see lost things—objects, people, people’s own personal loses—led her to working for the FBI.  The tragic outcome of her last case and the public notoriety, and despite the prophecy of her father, has driven her to seek refuge in the small Louisiana town where she grew up with the four boys, now men, including her brother, best friends, and the man she loved.  Unfortunately, there is no peace to be found.  Can Avery save other lives without losing her own?
Wow!  This is a book with a fascinating and, when you really think about it, rather horrifying premise.  But it’s also a story wonderfully written.  It will stay with you long after the back cover is closed.
Causey’s experience as a screenwriter, is immediately apparent as this is one of the most visual books you’ll find.  You are not only in the story, but you’re in Avery’s head.  It’s not always a pleasant place to be, but one you don’t want to leave.  She has a nice way of introducing us to the characters as she goes.  In a very conversational way, we are told who they are, and how they all fit together.  The Saints become real to us, as do all the characters, pleasant and unpleasant, particularly the young boy, Brody.  It’s also nice to have a sympathetic FBI agent, for a change.
Causey has a wonderful voice that draws you immediately into the story.  Told in first person, you want to know Avery, and understand what she experiences.  There is an excellent internal narrative which helps create a strong sense of place—“I’d forgotten how the humidity and the wilting heat of the South in mid-July could make you as irritable as an addict a few days into detox.”—and strong metaphor-file dialogue—“Fine!”…”Fine, she says.  She’ll be fine.”…”There aren’t enough mapmakers in the world to map out how stupid that is.”  Her imagery is exquisite—“In the woods, quiet brushes of branches caressed my aching shoulders.  Misty fog billowed over the creek; bullfrogs sang arias with the crickets, musty smells of moss and earth wound through the canopy to the moon.  I could breathe here, at peace.”  One will definitely appreciate the subtle, wry humor which runs through and is necessary to offset the events as the story progresses.
This is a very visceral book, but it’s not for everyone.  We see what Avery sees; feel what Avery feels.  We realize the unimaginable physical and emotional harm parents can do to their children, the result of obsession, and the incalculable power of the human mind.  And we wouldn’t have the author change a word.  It’s the sort of book where one wants to read passages aloud to someone else; the sort of book you want to put in other people’s hands. 
The Saints of the Lost and Found” is a completely fascinating, terrifying, horrific and, in the end, wonderful, wonderfully written and unique book.  The only thing one can say is “Read it!”

THE SAINTS OF THE LOST AND FOUND (Myst-Avery Broussard-Louisiana-Contemp) – Ex
Causey, T.M. – Standalone
The Road Runner Press – 2015

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