Found: A Novel
Author: Irene Cooper
Publisher: Atmosphere Press (2022)
Ten years after the drowning of her daughter in the Colorado River, Eleanor Clay subsists finding corpses for Bristlecone Springs PD, until the day she finds three-year-old Lizzie—living, but left-for-dead in a culvert under the railroad tracks.
The crime unspools to a series of brutal kidnappings implicating a local megachurch, a craft beer company, and a cannabis consortium. With the help of Althea Giordano, effervescent forensic botanist for CorpsPursuit-a volunteer organization that recovers cold-case bodies-and Elan DePeña, bike cop for BSPD, Eleanor must climb out of the dark hell of her grief to end the violence before it hits too close to home.
In Found by Irene Cooper, characters encroach upon one another's territories and disturb the ground. Eleanor is pushed out of her dark apartment to face the violence others read about, and sometimes, even unwittingly, perpetrate. Like Eleanor, we look for a villain, quietly suspecting trouble is closer than imagined-maybe, if we admit it, within ourselves.
"In Irene Cooper's Found, what compels me is the compassion among characters, their empathy for one another, and their insights into what it means to lose a child. The suspense may take me on a ride, but it's the other passengers that keep me in the car."