‘Everything We Lost’ Delivers Surreal Psychological Suspense [REVIEW]

BLMs National Conservation Lands

Ten years ago, Lucy Durant’s brother disappeared into the California desert. (Photo by Bureau of Land Management, Flickr)

A young woman’s life is irrevocably changed when her brother disappears into the vast California desert. A decade later, the tragedy still haunts her. Will she ever discover the truth about what happened to her beloved sibling? Find out in Valerie Geary’s suspenseful new novel, Everything We Lost. 


William Morrow

Lucy Durant is a woman trying to outrun the past. But try as she might, she seems to be sucked deeper into the quicksand that is her older brother Nolan’s disappearance. She was only 14 when it happened, and yet she still misses him on a daily basis, even if he was a conspiracy theorist who believed in UFOs. Still, she thinks she sees him in the most unexpecting places, but it never turns out to be him. Lucy knows that she’s stuck and should move on, yet she can’t seem to, and is content to live a solitary existence in her father’s attic.

Unlike Lucy, her dad decides to move on with his life, and gets engaged to a woman half his age. When the love birds have their engagement party on the tenth anniversary of Nolan’s disappearance, it is too much for Lucy. She wants to be happy for them, but can’t shake the memories no matter how hard she tries. Instead, she extricates herself from the festivities and sits on the roof, only to see a dark figure lurking in the shadows across the street. This and other disquieting events ultimately lead her back to the place where her life went awry: Bishop, California. There she unwillingly reunites with her estranged mother and must face the ghosts of the past head on.

Everything We Lost is one of those surreal stories that is reminiscent of the best of Hitchcock, one which makes us guess what is real and what isn’t and whether our flawed protagonist is crazy or the most sane one in the bunch. From the moment we meet Lucy, we realize she is emotionally fragile, and yet there is a strength there too, one which compels her to never give up hope, no matter how tenuous that thread may be.

Geary does a marvelous job utilizing family drama and her character’s racing thoughts to build suspense. In fact, it is almost as if the author waits at the other end of a tightrope we all must cross holding a pair of scissors. We never know when the rope will snap and everything we think we know will come crashing down. It’s quite disconcerting, and yet we can’t stop reading, needing to discover what happened to the mysterious Nolan.

If you like the atmospheric stories of psychological suspense by Patricia Highsmith, Dean Koontz and Dennis Lehane, you’re going to love Valerie Geary’s Everything We Lost. It is everything we love about the genre, and we can’t wait to read everything else she writes from here on out. Valerie Geary is an author to watch!

Valerie Geary

Valerie Geary
(Photo by Caitlin A. Doughty)


Valerie Geary is the author of Crooked River, a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award. Her short stories have been published in The Rumpus and Day One. 

When she isn’t writing, she’s a fair-weather gardener. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family.

Visit Valerie’s home on the Web at ValerieGeary.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram.

By Valerie Geary
480 pgs. William Morrow. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Everything We Lost at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Everything We Lost is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘Everything We Lost’ Delivers Surreal Psychological Suspense [REVIEW]

  1. trish says:

    The synopsis is really intriguing to me! I love authors that can keep me suspended with something like family drama!

  2. Ooh that comparison to Hitchcock really got my attention! I LOVE that kind of tricksy story where you don’t know who to believe.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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