The Lost by Simon Beckett

Blog tour: 1 to 30 November 2021


A missing child

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A gruesome discovery

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A search for the truth

Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago …

My review

After Sergeant Jonah Colley from the Metropolitan Police’s firearms unit receives a call for help from his former best friend and police colleague, Detective Sergeant Gavin McKinney, asking him to meet at midnight at a warehouse in Slaughter Quay on the South Bank, he decides to head there to find out what it’s all about. This is despite the pair not being in touch for nearly 10 years, after a serious falling out. After a tense and unsettling prowl around the derelict buildings, Colley is horrified to discover four bodies, wrapped in polythene, in the warehouse and is then attacked himself by an unknown assailant and left for dead with a badly injured knee and head wound.

The police are rather suspicious that Colley went willingly to the warehouse on the request of DS McKinney and that he was the only one who has managed to survive the incident. They quiz him about what happened and he soon realises that he’s actually a suspect and in rather a lot of trouble, especially as he can’t explain things and seems to be holding back key information.

In this first book of a new series, we learn that Colley’s four-year-old son, Theo, went missing 10 years ago from a local park and, sadly, he was never found and is presumed dead. Colley was obviously traumatised by this and it led to the breakdown of his marriage. At the time, he coped with the overwhelming guilt and grief by leaning on McKinney and later attending a local support group but Theo is never far from his thoughts.

Colley isn’t sure who can be trusted and he decides to conduct his own investigation to try and work out exactly what Gavin McKinney was involved in. As various connections from the past raise their ugly heads, Colley becomes more and more convinced that the tragic events from 10 years ago are the key to solving this complicated puzzle. He is putting himself and others in peril though and really isn’t sure what he’s getting into. He needs to watch his back as there seems to be danger on every corner!

Overall, I really enjoyed this tense and gripping read! It was cleverly plotted, well written and entertaining, with some dramatic and disturbing scenes that had me on the edge of my seat, frantically turning the pages to see how much blood would be shed and how it was all going to be resolved.

As the novel progressed, we gradually learned various revelations about Jonah Colley, Gavin McKinney and their pasts but I couldn’t see how everything tied together and what the missing links were! There were some good twists and turns, and just when I thought I’d worked it out, there would be another element of misdirection to confuse me! I didn’t know who could be trusted – I wasn’t even sure of how Colley fitted into the whole puzzle.

This is the first book of the author’s that I’ve read but I’ve got all of his Dr David Hunter series on my Kindle so I must start them soon! I’m also looking forward to reading the next book in this series and learning more about Jonah Colley.

Buy the book

The Lost by Simon Beckett is released on 25 November and can be preordered from Amazon on Kindle and in hardback, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks. See also Ethical Book Search.

About the author

Simon Beckett taught English as a foreign language in Spain, installed cavity wall installation and played in various unsuccessful bands before becoming a freelance journalist and author.

In 2002, a commission to write a feature on highly realistic crime scene training for US police officers led him to the Body Farm in Tennessee. This provided an eye-opening glimpse into the work of forensic anthropologists and formed the inspiration behind his internationally bestselling David Hunter crime thrillers.

The series has been translated into 29 languages. Simon’s novels have appeared in The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller list and become No.1 international bestsellers, selling 12 million copies worldwide.

As well as the David Hunter series, he is the author of five standalone thrillers: Fine Lines, Animals, Where There’s Smoke, Owning Jacob and, most recently, The Lost. The first in the Jonah Colley series, The Lost spent five weeks at number one in Germany’s Der Spiegel hardback fiction charts before its UK publication.

Twitter: @BeckettSimon
Facebook: @SimonBeckettCrime
Instagram: @simonbeckettauthor

Blog tour

Thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for my digital copy of The Lost and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.


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