27 January 2020

Review: EYES LIKE MINE, Sheena Kamal

  • this edition published in 2017 by Zaffre Publishing
  • ISBN 978-1-78576-255-0
  • 297 pages
  • #1 in the Nora Watts series
Synopsis (publisher)

Nora Watts is about to discover that you never really put your past behind you.

The call comes in just after five in the morning. I am immediately on guard because everyone knows that nothing good ever happens before seven. I've never heard the name Everett Walsh before, but according to him I may know something about a missing girl.

Troubled, misunderstood, and with more than enough problems of her own, Nora doesn't want to get involved. But then she sees the photograph. A girl, a teenager, with her eyes. How can she turn her back on her?

But going in search of her daughter brings Nora into contact with a past that she would rather forget.  As she begins to investigate she uncovers a dangerous conspiracy and embarks on a harrowing journey of deception and violence that takes her from the rainy streets of Vancouver to the snow-capped mountains of the Canadian wilderness and, finally, to the island where she will face her greatest demon: a shadowy figure from her own dark past.

My Take

Nora Watts works as a research assistant to a prominent investigative reporter. She lives, unconventionally, in the basement of the building in which she works.

Over fourteen years ago something dreadful happened to Nora, which she only partially remembers. She was left for dead in a ditch, and was in hospital in a coma for several months. When she emerged from the coma she was five months pregnant, too late for an abortion. Her doctors considered her a danger to her unborn baby, and she was put into protective custody. Her baby daughter was put up for adoption. All the details were supposed to be secret, but now someone has found her. Not only that, her daughter is missing.

Nora is a very striking character, not particularly likeable, but likely to resort to violence if it suits her.

I found the pattern of the novel un-settling - several very short chapters followed by much longer ones. There is no consistency. The "voice" of the missing girl is introduced without warning, although the book is mainly written through Nora. Occasionally there is third person narration.

However it is the search for the missing girl that keeps you reading, although the reasons why she is missing were a little hard to believe, and the final chapters almost impossible.

My rating: 4.4

About the author
Sheena Kamal holds an HBA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, which she attended on Canada's most prestigious scholarship, received for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness in Toronto. She went on to work in the film and TV industry, most recently as a researcher for a crime drama series being developed for television. Her research into crime and investigative journalism inspired Eyes Like Mine.

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