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Eyes Like Mine by Sheena Kamal

Eyes Like Mine

Thriller / Suspense   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   
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February 2017 Debut of the Month.

A wonderfully intense and dramatic thriller, one that highlights the background, exposes the concealed, yet is action-packed and constantly moving. Nora Watts gave up her child, 15 years later that child is missing, and as the circumstances begin to twist around her, Nora has to revisit her past. Set in British Columbia, in the back streets and under-belly of Vancouver, and the vast icy mountain interior, the surroundings are a dramatic crucial element to the story. Nora is a truly distinctive character, tenacious, difficult, solitary, and she tells her own story, permitting you access to her uppermost thoughts. Sheena Kamal allows explanations to wait, encouraging you to get a feel for Nora by her actions and not her past. At times descriptive detailing surprised me, before connecting deeply within, at others I felt my mind racing to catch up, to understand. ‘Eyes Like Mine’ assails senses, stimulates thoughts and reasoning, and is a powerful, captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is everything you want out of a thriller – fast-paced, (very) gritty, challenging and human. Fantastic read.'
  • Natasha Motton - 'Captivating suspense thriller...This is a compelling read which grabs your attention from the offset.'
  • Alexandra Harper-Williams - 'I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced novel and found it very hard to put down...Fantastic novel for cosy winter evenings.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This was an amazing story and I loved every second of it.'
  • Nicola Lowes - 'A good suspense story with an ending that wraps up all the loose ends. I enjoyed it.'
  • Nicola Kingswell - 'How far can you run when your past catches up with you? Great narrative, scene setting, dialogue and characters. Would make an excellent adventure movie.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This is the first Nora Watts novel and I really enjoyed it. A well written page turner.'
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'I found this a good read though at times it seemed overly complicated...on the whole an entertaining read.'
  • Alison Bisping - 'I really enjoyed this - plenty of twists and turns.  In fact, so many, I probably need to re-read it, which is very rare for me.  A good psychological thriller that will keep you turning the pages.'
  • Sarah Jones - 'Tried too hard to be edgy and gritty but didn't succeed. Too many themes which didn't work.'
  • Rachel Corlett - 'This book will stay in my thoughts for a long time. A must read.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Eyes Like Mine by Sheena Kamal

It's late. The phone rings. The man on the other end says his daughter is missing. Your daughter. The baby you gave away over fifteen years ago. What do you do? Nora Watts isn't sure that she wants to get involved. Troubled, messed up, and with more than enough problems of her own, Nora doesn't want to revisit the past. But then she sees the photograph. A girl, a teenager, with her eyes. How can she turn her back on her? But going in search of her daughter brings Nora into contact with a past that she would rather forget, a past that she has worked hard to put behind her, but which is always there, waiting for her ...


Utterly compelling, rich with voice and psychological insight, populated with heartbreakingly real characters, Eyes Like Mine will stay with you for a long, long time. Perhaps forever. * Jeffrey Deaver * A brave, unflinching heroine and brave, unflinching writing add up to an extraordinary debut - highly recommended. * Lee Child * 'Suspenseful, atmospheric and often deeply moving . . . one of the most complicated and fascinating protagonists I've come across in a long time. I'd follow Nora Watts (and her dog) anywhere.' * Alison Gaylin * Sheena Kamal has created a fresh and original character who grips the reader with her grit and courage. We're rooting for Nora Watts from the outset and I can't wait to read more of her story * Sarah Ward, Crimepieces * It's a taut book, very bleak writing . . . I really enjoyed it. It made for a different pace and style to some of the books I have read recently. This is the author's debut novel and I'm looking forward to what she can do in the future. * For the love of Books * I loved Eyes Like Mine - I'm not sure whether it was Nora who was spot on brilliant as an engaging and divisive main protagonist, or the themes within (as an adopted child myself I related on many levels here) or the really quite brilliant storytelling but overall this one was a huge hit with me . . . utterly riveting and totally addictive . . . excellent atmospheric writing vibe that both descriptively and decisively puts you right on the spot . . . Intelligent, thought provoking and beautifully written, Eyes Like Mine comes highly recommended from me. * Liz Loves Books * 'Kamal has come up with an unusual and engaging character that is uniquely her own. Nora carries a plot which could veer into unbelievably with panache and there's a page-turning thrilling element to the narrative. This could be my book of the year and it's only January.
Sarah Ward

* Crime Pieces * 'Eyes Like Mine is an excellent psychological suspense novel. I loved it.

The plot is intricate, complicated and fast moving, highlighting various issues such as mixed race inheritance and differences in treatment based on skin colour, homelessness, and environmental issues. These never overpower the story, but form part of the book as a whole.I was almost breathless as I read Eyes Like Mine. * Books Please * 'It's an immersive read that will reach out and grab you from the very first sentence with startling vigour. Sheena Kamal's writing is just brilliant. Her beautiful descriptions drag us into the environment of Vancouver and deposit us firmly beside Nora.' * Ronnie Turner Ad Astra * 'This is a dark read full of intrigue and mystery. Set in Canada you can almost feel the cold weather as the writing is extremely descriptive and sets the atmosphere. Fast paced and full of grit this will have the reader hooked straight away.' * Supermum * 'This one actually lingered with me..probably due to its interesting extra dimensions of race, mixed-race heritage, adoption, homelessness, and the lush Canadian setting
4 stars

**** * Much Ado About Books * 'Move over Lisbeth Salander! Wow! Where to start? One of the best books I have read in a long time, 'Eyes Like Mine
will have you reading through the night

...the plot is cleverly-woven and charges along.' * Breakaway Reviewers * '..actually left me feeling rather uplifted and full of hope for the future. As in real life, sometimes not all ends can be tied. A stunning debut!' * My Chestnut Reading Tree * 'Eyes Like Mine is such a gripping read, it is difficult to believe that this is a debut, but it really does have the wow factor. Pick this book up and you will never want to put it down, you will be left breathless, you will fall in love with the characters, even though you shouldn't. One hell of a brilliant psychological thriller that will keep you in suspense throughout.' * Atticus Finch * ' get pulled into the story and it doesn't let you go.' * A Bookaholic Swede * 'A complex, unusual and gripping theatre'. -- Myles McWeeney * Irish Independent, review by * 'Kamal's debut novel is a spare and effective thriller that seeks to expose the myths underpinning Canada's self-image... The writing is spare but effective...Kamal is compelling enough not to require embellishment.
James Kidd

* South China Post * 'Punchy debut about a missing

child...we are immediately dropped into a thrilling quest in which twists

and turns abound.' * RTE Guide * 'She (Nora) is as different as possible from the current crop of fashionable weepies, who wallow in their victimhood and long for someone else to save or justify them, and her search shines light into some very dark places and forgotten lives. This is a most impressive - and moving - novel.
Natasha Cooper

* Book Oxygen * 'As this is a debut novel Sheena Kamal did a good job and I think this is just the beginning of what she can give the world.' * Loves Book Groups * 'Eyes like Mine proved to be more action packed, gritty and perhaps political, then what I'd usually choose. I'm not usually drawn to books about corruption, however having read this, I'm glad I did. I raced through it in a couple of sittings and was gripped throughout.' * Cosy Books * 'The characters were well written and likeable but I'm not going to talk about them because Nora deserves all the spotlight!' * Silvxr * 'The background is well done. This being British Columbia and the protagonist of mixed race, exploitation of native people is a feature, with an appropriate climax on Vancouver Island where land and timber and wildlife have been enriching freebooters for centuries. So fitting and somewhat apt to end with a Wagnerian riot of song and guns, moonlight and water and even a humpback whale.' * SHOTS magazine * 'the novel does take some rapid twists and turns and really lays on the noirish atmosphere in spades. Kamal knows the rules of her genre very well, and the storyline hits all the beats.
Ian White

* Starburst magazine * 'a strong plot, and fascinating personalities, this dark novel is a thrilling page turner... a character who stands strong and distinctive in her own right.' * Boozy Bookworm * I recommend this if you like gritty stories with hard-nosed female characters who won't give up at any cost. * The Secret Library * Actually very funny and entertaining, in the same way Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone books are (although a lot bleaker)...This is a very accomplished and confident debut. * Clothes In Books * A thoroughly original thriller with a fascinating premise...I rooted desperately for Nora - her story is furiously compelling, not just in the breathlessly pacy plot, which encompasses medical fraud, and the environmental horrors of mining, but from her voice, which is wryly witty, cynical, and yet vulnerable. It's a terrific debut, from an exciting new author, and I can't wait to see what Nora does next. * Back To The Books * Eyes Like Mine is a book filled with restrained writing, even as Sheena Kamal takes readers through the life of someone who should be raging at the world. You'll be raging at the world for her. * Editing Everything * the kind of main character that I love to hate. To me, it made the character more real than someone who just made the right decisions all the time, which let's be honest and say that just doesn't happen! * Debra's Book Cafe * 'a refreshing, genre reforming crime fiction. The novel's strength lies in its uncovering of the social issues surrounding indigenous women in Canada, a topic we almost never see in crime fiction.' * Destination Jeddah * Eyes Like Mine is filled with action and dark truths, while Nora makes a truly wonderful main character. Definitely not your ordinary crime story. * The Sun * A taut, compulsive thriller, the novel comes to a climax on Vancouver Island, and makes full use of the ethnicity of the area. Beautifully imagined. * Irish Examiner * The sense of place and the atmosphere Kamal generates through her description is convincing and satisfying. I ended the book with a sharp image of the dark side of Canada and a feel for its nature * Crime Review * The plot line is fantastic, filled with missing daughter, medical mystery, a beaten-up protagonist, powerful villains, murder, abuse, investigation and a wonderful dog and partner, Whisper. * Book Reviews by Shalini *

About the Author

Sheena Kamal

Sheena Kamal holds an HBA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, which she attended on Canada's most prestigious scholarship, received for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness in Toronto. She went on to work in the film and TV industry, most recently as a researcher for a crime drama series being developed for television. Her research into crime and investigative journalism inspired Eyes Like Mine.

Author photo © Macolm Tweedy

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Book Info

Publication date

9th February 2017


Sheena Kamal

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Zaffre Publishing


320 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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