Super good (especially for dog lovers who like a HEA)

Lost & Found - Jacqueline Sheehan

Opening Line: "Bob had left the food carton on the counter the night before and it now smelled of grease and fish."

As a dog lover I was enchanted by LOST AND FOUND but just about anyone will be able to find something to like within this story. Filled with love, loss, adventure and even a little mystery, this is a story about the ability of the human (and dog) spirit to carry on and just what grief can reduce us to. Full of very real and charming characters, a surprising whodunit storyline and a suspense filled yet ultimately uplifting ending.

As we begin, the main character, Rocky discovers her husband lying lifeless on the bathroom floor. She tries using CPR to revive him but for Bob it's just too late. This forever sets into motion the abrupt transformation of Rocky's world. Unable to continue with her job as a psychologist (can she really help anyone while she's insane with grief?) Rocky cuts off the hair that Bob loved, takes a leave of absence and moves to a small island off the coast of Maine. There, she takes a job as Animal Control Warden. A job of which she knows nothing about but one that's thankfully a million miles from her old life.

Not having told anyone about her past Rocky is able to settle into a rather anonymous form of island life free, from the "I'm so sorrys" and concerned looks of friends. But the grieving process is proving harder than she thought and its not until she discovers a black lab with a arrow sticking out of his shoulder that the healing truly begins.

Once Lloyd enters the scene he fast becomes the focal point of the story, pulling in a host of great secondary characters; like her crotchety but compassionate boss, a pained teenager suffering with anorexia or the delightful old woman with sythesia. Rocky then begins a search for the truth behind the arrow in Lloyds shoulder. Inadvertently taking up archery in the process and getting pulled into a mystery that will endanger both her and her new canine best friend's lives.

This was a surprisingly great read with characters so real and well done that I didn't want their stories to end. Jacqueline Sheehan has also managed to capture the inner workings of a dog perfectly, giving him a unique personality. I did find it a little strange however that half way through a singular POV book she suddenly decided to add some secondary ones, almost as an afterthought. I enjoyed their perspectives though, especially Lloyds. She also repeats some of her characters back stories unnecessarily. In the end I was just glad to read a dog story without the usual heartbreaking ending (think Marley or Enzo) Cheers.