Review: Garden of the Lost by D.J. Donaldson

Print Length: 241 pages
Publisher: Dingbat Publishing (May 29, 2019)

From  Is Conrad Green alive? The answer seems obvious. He moves, he breathes, he occasionally takes food. But inside, he’s dead, unable to write a word on his next novel, barely able to take care of himself, ruled by despair over the sudden death of his beautiful wife, Claire, six months ago. Since that dreadful day, he’s done only one significant thing. Feeling strangely drawn into a salvage yard, he discovers and buys an antique wrought iron fence that he installs around Claire’s beloved iris garden.

That night, at precisely 1:00 a.m., a little boy shows up in the garden. He’s holding onto the fence, looking inside at the flowers, and sobbing with such intensity, it pierces the gloom around Conrad’s heart. Conrad goes outside to help, but by the time he reaches the garden, the boy is gone. The same thing happens the next night. On the third night, when the boy reappears, a shocking event sends Conrad on a crazy quest that ultimately rocks his small town, uncovers its deepest secrets, and shows him there’s a lot about life — and death — he hasn’t understood.

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It isn't often that I read paranormal stories. Mainly because they are usually so far fetched that I find myself putting them down and walking away in annoyance.

However, was not the case with this story. I was completely engrossed in this story from the very start. And while yes, there were certain elements of this one that I found very hard to believe, those instances didn't overshadow the rest of the book. On the whole, this story felt more a story about grief, and how one man's struggle for closure can affect his entire life. 

Maybe having just lost my own husband nearly a year ago, I could relate a little too much to Conrad. His grief, his loss of interest in pretty much everything, even his guilt over the things he could have done differently. 

I will say my one big complaint with this story were the moments when something happened that wasn't necessary to the plot. The "ghosts" were one thing. I can understand where they were needed to make this story happen. What worked for me with this story is that once they got started on the path to the truth, it was good old fashioned detective work that solved the mystery. It was those still among the living that managed to unravel the threads of corruption and coverups that happened all those years ago. It was when "supernatural" things started happening just as a way to explain an otherwise unexplainable event that I lost interest. There were a million other ways that scene could have played out. 

But on the whole? I believe this story will definitely appeal to fans of paranormal mysteries. And even those few, like me, who can look beyond the paranormal aspect to the story that lies beneath.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                           Garden of the Lost is available from

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