Found | Critical Book Review

A Stark Exploration of Trauma and Tough Choices

Found by Irene Cooper, published by Atmosphere Press, delves into the heart-wrenching realm of trauma, grief, and morally complex decisions. While the novel raises important themes and exhibits narrative finesse, it is not without its flaws.

A Unique Gift Turns Dark

The story follows Eleanor Clay, a police consultant with an extraordinary knack for finding missing things, particularly the lifeless bodies of abducted children. However, when she miraculously rescues a barely alive 3-year-old Lizzie, the narrative takes a gruesome and intense turn.

Cooper immerses us in a horrifying sequence of kidnappings and murder attempts on innocent children. Eleanor, grappling with her past failures as a mother and the loss of her own daughter, becomes the target of public outrage and prejudice as news of her macabre talent spreads. The self-righteous preacher, John Yearling, spearheads a social media witch hunt, further complicating Eleanor’s already chaotic life.

A Heavy but Necessary Read

Found is not a light read. It confronts readers with distressing themes and harrowing scenes. While some may struggle to navigate the grim subject matter, the novel’s importance cannot be denied. Cooper masterfully addresses a timely and unexpected topic: abortion. This central theme is handled with a level of grace and finesse that overshadows the more gruesome elements of the story.

A Gender-Inclusive Narrative

The novel primarily focuses on female perspectives, but it also skillfully delves into the emotions of men caught in impossible situations. Cooper’s exploration of how men support their partners through traumatic experiences is thought-provoking and inclusive. Readers of all genders can find relatable characters within the narrative.

The Enigmatic Eleanor Clay

Eleanor’s enigmatic ability to find things remains a mystery throughout the novel. Is it intuition, a superpower, or a manifestation of her grief? The lack of a clear answer adds an intriguing layer to her character. She emerges as a female Sherlock Holmes, accomplishing her mission while shrouded in darkness and sorrow. The subtle touch of magic surrounding her keeps readers captivated throughout the story.

Empowering Voices

Cooper’s Found gives voice to silenced women in today’s society. It not only mirrors the turmoil of our world but also weaves an engaging murder mystery. Be prepared for a rollercoaster of emotions, as the narrative evokes sadness, anger, and hope. After finishing the book, it lingers in your soul, potentially changing you for the better. This is a highly recommended read, particularly in a post-Roe v. Wade era.

Final Thoughts

Found is a compelling exploration of trauma and moral dilemmas. Despite its challenging subject matter, Irene Cooper’s narrative finesse shines through. It addresses critical issues while delivering a gripping murder mystery. If you’re a fan of strong female-led mysteries, Found should not be missed.

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Atmosphere PressMystery, Thriller & Suspense / Psychological294 pages978-1639885497

A Stark Exploration of Trauma and Tough Choices Found by Irene Cooper, published by Atmosphere Press, delves into the heart-wrenching realm of trauma, grief, and morally complex decisions. While the novel raises important themes and exhibits narrative finesse, it is not without its flaws. A Unique Gift Turns Dark The story follows Eleanor Clay, a…