Eyes Like Mine by Sheena Kamal #BookReview

About this book…

It begins with a phone call. Fifteen years ago Nora Watts gave her newborn daughter up for adoption. Now Bonnie has vanished and when the police don’t seem to care, her desperate parents turn to Nora as a last resort.

Nora knows only too well what happens to missing girls, especially when they aren’t blonde or white enough. Despite herself, she sets out to find the daughter she’s never known protected only by her instincts and a freakish ability to detect truth from lies.

As she plunges into her own dark past, Nora uncovers a violent conspiracy on a grand scale that will take her from the rain-soaked streets of Vancouver, to the icy mountains of the Canadian wilderness, and ultimately to a remote island where she will face her most terrifying demon. All to save a girl she wishes had never been born.

My review…

Now this is an interesting one. I don’t think comparisons to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo do this book many favours and may put a few readers off trying it. I thought Nora, a feisty but ultimately damaged protagonist, was far more intriguing than I was expecting from the comparison and quite unlike any heroine I have come across in a while. It actually took me a while to “get” her but once I did I also found her to be much more likeable than I had anticipated.

It was the blurb on the cover that attracted me to Eyes Like Mine. I thought it was a fresh and intriguing idea for a plot which was well conceived and followed through with the storyline opening up to the reader at the same time as Nora. Coming face to face with her daughter’s adoptive parents would have been difficult enough for Nora but having them approach her in her capacity as a private investigator gave a interesting twist to what could have been a straight forward “missing girl” plot. Indeed when Nora does investigate further it looks like what happened to her in the past may be hindering her search more than she realises. Can the past ever stay hidden when there are secrets to be laid bare?

I loved Nora and how, even though she thinks she’s not good enough and her strength of personality may be hidden from most, the little things in her life were obviously really the big things. And although she prefers not to have attachments, shutting out the world never quite works when you let a dog into your life, especially one with a better “social life” than you.

This has a claustrophobic, dark and gloomy feel right from the start, there isn’t much joy to spread around as the finale looms with it’s twists and turns but it doesn’t feel disheartening and actually left me feeling rather uplifted and full of hope for the future. In fact the ending was handled far better than expected. As in real life, sometimes not all ends can be tied. A stunning debut!

Many thanks to Zaffre for my review copy of Eyes Like Mine.

Eyes Like Mine: As dark and gripping as THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is out on February 9th and available to purchase from Amazon UK

About the author…

Sheena Kamal was born in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada as a child. She holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. Kamal has also worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry— academic knowledge and experience that inspired this debut novel. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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