The Saints of the Lost and Found: T.M. Causey
Imagine walking in the street, sitting with a group of people or just wandering aimlessly and being able to feel the sadness, losses and tears of everyone walking by or sitting near you. Imagine understanding why they are at odds within themselves, the pain of being deprived of a person in their lives, a failure that they feel guilty of or a person they tried to save but could not. Imagine feeling responsible for the death of others even though it’s not your fault and you did your best to prevent the inevitable. When someone misplaces something, losses it in a robbery or cannot remember where they placed it, you can consider that a loss. Everyday of our lives we lose the one that preceded it and everyone loses someone they care about all the time. What about the job you thought you had locked up and never got? What about a friend that you had all of your life and he/she died? What about a sister that you never got to know because you had no idea she existed? The loss of a grandparent, the loss of document or what about the loss of who you really are and the defeat you feel every time you try to rewind the clock, go back in time to find out who you really are and why you are so different. You are the keeper or finder of losses and your job or plight in life is to find things, people, or recapture events in order to prevent more losses. Sometimes as you will learn when we meet Avery the young woman who finds herself often perplexed, puzzled, bewildered and uncertain about events, happenings and where objects or people might be, you will better understand what she deems a curse and learn why seeing lost things which includes people, places and things might frighten you or anyone else and why Avery Broussard’s curse might be considered a blessing to others.
Avery is able to visualize and feel the missing things that are lost not only in her life but in others too. Avery has been running her entire life from herself, her past, family and dealing with the fact that she assisted the FBI in trying to find the LPK or Little Princess Killer and failed. It’s not that she could not find the missing girls it’s that the police got there too late. Living in Louisiana and leaving to get away from her father and mother whose only interest in her was to exploit her talents for monetary gains, she swore never to return. But, a frantic call from her father insisting that she return before something tragic happens to her brother, Latham. Her father can see when and how someone will die and he relates to her in this brief call that her brother is dying and she just might be his only hope for survival. But how and why? At the bus station and ready to buy a ticket for San Francisco, Avery changes gears and buys one for New Orleans. Apprehensive, hiding her face, her body, the scars on her arms and legs she hopes to be an invisible passenger on the long ride ahead. But, after failing to find the two lost girls, the press outing her and her talents revealed this first encounter with Avery and others will alert readers to the cruelty that some inflict on others when they do not really know the truth or care. Shunned, yelled at, insulted and stared out the entire way the only one that comes to her aid is the driver of the bus and heading for Saint Michael she can’t wait to alight from the bus yet fearful of what and who she might find waiting for her. As the author reveals more about her past and her losses she also shares those of the passengers on the bus and we get to know more about Avery but the startling first paragraph and the description of the red stiletto heels and the person attached to them will come back to face you the reader and Avery when you least expect it.
A small town riddled with revenge, vengeance, hate, jealousies, lies, betrayals and pawns used to further the gain of others. As Avery returns her memories of the Five Saints comes haunting back as Jack, the man she loved and pushed away comes front and center, Sam, her closest friend and now an EMT, Nate even closer than her brother and good friend and police officer and Latham her brother who loves to have her help him at work and Avery who finds solace in her paintings and even from what they often represent. Learning more about Jack’s past, his relationship with his abusive father and why he remained and did not go with his stepmother allows readers to understand his refusal to escape his past and leave the cruelty of the present. Living on the edge Avery remembers how she came to search for the LPK killer, the tragic ending and working with an agent named Hank. Not wanting him or anyone else to find her seemed right but the end result would not only bring her past flooding through, what was done to her by someone close to her family and the real reason why she hated being home.
With Jack trying to become part of her life again, meeting his son Brody who goes missing will she risk letting everyone know that her powers are still in tact to find him? Hating that she had to do something she wanted no part of Avery promised to find Brody and when she did they formed a pact that will surprise readers, as this little boy was smarter than the average adult.
The evil spreads and the killer returns but just when Avery begins to feel safe her encounter with Jack reveals more about their past, why she is afraid to get close to him, what her father predicted and the callus ways her parents treated her and her brother because of their own selfish needs and greed. Never hearing one word that she says or caring about her feelings, the security in her own home is breached just because they could not really caring that someone might hurt or kill her but hoping that she would become their meal ticket once again.
Brody might be found but what is the image of a dead woman with red stiletto heels? What does it mean and just who is it that she sees in her dream? On pages 106-109 we hear Jack’s own words, his father’s wrath and we learn why no one cares that the Senator is gone nor do they care who killed him. As Memories flood back from her past, Brody is found but losses she claims are weird as each person she meets or is in contact with she feels their losses and thinking that someone close to both Brody and Jack might be dead and the woman in the red stiletto heels. Marguerite is Jack’s wife and Brody’s mother and is not mother of the year or even the hour and she often leaves him unattended or to the attention of others. When she disappears everyone is concerned and what Avery sees just might really happen.
An Old Woman from her nightmares often comes into she thinks is her reality. “Whole, for the first time since I’d met her,” she says. The first time her limbs are sliced off but not this time. Her face is timeless; her skin flawless yet each time she encounters her she is different. Warning her about a certain spot where bad things happen jus what does she have to do with the body of a small girl who has been slashed, her arm severed, lying in a bed of snow? Was it someone she knew? Was it Marguerite that might be dead?
When the visions become clearer and she allows Jack and everyone to learn about her seizures, what they do to her and the end result, she has no choice but to agree to help find the missing girls, Brody and as she comes face to face with someone she swore she would never see again, whose secret she never revealed and whose torture she might endure once more. Avery became the official mascot and her parents used her as bait to get to their marks, added in she battled with her scars, her fears and now dealing with Hank the agent from the FBI that she ran from. Always running away and never stopping long enough to find the true answers to the missing questions that are still floating around in her head. Was her brother really going to die? Would someone close to her want to take her life? Was her father right or wrong?
The final scenes are powerful as the author creates vivid descriptions of what happens to Avery when her visions take over, she has a seizure, her anger towards Jack and the final moments when she realizes that several children were taken, that she has to find them and her friends Sam, Nate, Jack Avery and Latham are now five and might become four Saints. Events spiral out of control and the killer comes into place and it’s up to Avery to decide if she can face off with this person and survive without losing anyone children. The powerful connection is quite electrifying, the end result will let you know how far a father will go to torture and blackmail his son, how far Avery went to prevent him from keeping on Jack and the end that caused them to part.
Lies, betrayals, fear, jealousies, wishful hopes and Valerie Romano, Marguerite’s attorney hoping to protect her interests and Zannah who is linked to polyfomosia, her husband who owned the house and who was having an affair with Marguerite. Loses were felt in every scene and only Avery could prevent the end result from happening as meetings with the attorney and Zannah would bring to light that something might have happened to Marguerite or was she really just doing her own thing and not caring for her son. Pretense, hate and a hidden secret that when revealed with change everything for Jack and Avery. The seeing of losses and the founder of lost things: Will she manage to save the children? Will she manage to find the one thing that is still lost: HERSELF? WILL SHE HELP JACK FIND HIMSELF TOO? A spellbinding, heart breaking story of a love that was destroyed because of secrets and lies.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine