Written by Vincent Holland-Keen — Coming in at over 500 pages, The Office of Lost and Found is a novel unlike anything you are likely to read this year. Probably next year as well. It’s staggeringly different to anything else I’ve read since picking up a copy of a Douglas Adams book when I was a teenager which I really enjoyed. But I haven’t seen anything in the same vein since.
Without giving too much away, The Office of Lost and Found tells the story of a man named Thomas Locke who finds things that are lost. When Veronica Drysdale asks Locke to help find her missing husband, she soon finds out how lost you can be in a world that makes little sense. And Veronica is about to find out, that in a world that doesn’t make sense, nothing is as it should be. It puts monsters under beds, transports you to other worlds, and makes potted plants argumentative. Veronica is also made to face the past, and all that entails. And that’s before Locke’s shadowy business partner Lafarge is accounted for…
Suffice to say, there is so much more to the story than just this. There’s quite a bit of crime involved, but not in the usual procedural way. It’s no rules crime, mystery, and fantasy from beginning to end.
Whilst this book may not be to every reader’s taste, I would still recommend it to anyone, regardless of their initial thoughts on this type of novel. If you can get past the fact that for 95 per cent of the story you have no idea what is happening from one moment to the next, you can just let the story take you on its fantastical journey. Its strongest points are in the characterisation and storytelling. Even if you’re a diehard crime genre fan, I would advise you to look past the mythical elements and see that beneath all that is an excellently written story.
With character names which border on the ridiculous, situations which still make no sense to me after closing the book (or switching off my Kindle), and a plot which continually surprises right up to the end, The Office of Lost and Found should find its way onto every reader’s shelf at some point. Gloriously confusing, hilarious, emotional and unforgettable. Highly recommended to all.
CFL Rating: 5 Stars