Cover Image: Lost and Never Found

Lost and Never Found

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Member Reviews

I know I'm very late to the party and I am sorry I waited till now because this is a the best instalment in a great series.
Simon Mason's Oxford is very different from the city described by Colin Dexter but there's something in the style and the atmosphere which is timeless and intriguing.
Ryan and Ray are a great couple and their differences make them a bad match but a great couple of detective.
Well plotted, gripping and entertaining.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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This series just gets better and better. As an Abingdonian, I love the Oxford (and surrounds) locations; I enjoy the partnership between Ray & Ryan; the cases are interesting but my absolute favourite element is Ryan's character.

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A troubled socialite crashes her car and then goes missing. The news is all over the media and the two Wilkinses are brought in to investigate. Ray Wilkins has just won an award and is being headhunted to be the face of a new campaign but he is still resentful when Ryan Wilkins is put in charge of the case. Fro Ryan, he is still not controlling his anger well and his relationship with his son is struggling.
I really like this series of books because they do not glamorise the city of Oxford at all. The story may include rich students but is actually more sympathetic to the homeless, the sex workers and the illegal migrants. It's a gritty tale but well told. my only quibble (and it is an ongoing one) is that the two protagonists have such similar names, it must be deliberate but it jars with me!

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This is my first outing with Dci's Ryan and Ray Wilkins. Not related and the polar opposite posite of each other and yet a real wi nibg combination. I loved the fact i could just read it and learn about them without needing to read tge previous books. Although i definitely will read them aftef this cracking mystery.
The mystery starts off with a call from celebrity to emergency services tgen her car found and then her bidy and hen gets in so much more. It deals with a lot of issuses such as homelessness and drug addiction. The characters are so well written they flow off the page and i was gripped as the twists and turns kept coming. The conversations and kanguage was so true to life i was so engrossed in tghe storywhen it finished i was shocked it was over.
A cracking 5 star mystery dealing with rough issuses and vibrant characters .skillfully written. Look gorward yo tge next outing.
Thank you netgallery and publisher and author for this treat

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I absolutely adore this series from Simon Mason. DI Wilkins and DI Wilkins, Ryan and Ray – no relation, are such polar opposites it’s hard to see how they could/should work as a pairing, but they just do. The best part of this pairing is the way that they embrace the entire spectrum of people, from the homeless, to the celebrity, to the elite and from either side of the criminal line. This also means that the mystery at the heart of the novel has so many possible ways in which it could go, it is satisfyingly intriguing and as usual one that I couldn’t figure out.

I am already eagerly anticipating the next outing of these two.

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Ryan and Ray Wilkins, no relation, return in Lost and Never Found which is third instalment in the police procedural series by Simon Mason.

This unique “buddy” detective series is one of the best around and the latest book is a worthy addition with a great main storyline as well as a number of excellent support stories.

If you enjoy your crime novels then give this a go as you will enjoy it.

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I haven’t read the preceding books in the series, but I quickly caught up with the dynamic between the two investigating officers, Ray and Ryan.

A female socialite has disappeared and her rare Rolls Royce is found. The tabloids are having a field day and Ray and Ryan are trying to balance their work and home lives, none too successfully.

I found the pace slow and the plot a bit convoluted, but it was an ok read.

4 ⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley, Simon Mason and Quercus for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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Another winner from this excellent author. I thoroughly enjoyed Simon Mason’s first two novels, set in Oxford and this new one featuring Detectives Ryan and Ray Wilkins ( no relation) is another great read.
Still working together despite their differences, the two detectives are assigned to investigate a crashed Rolls Royce car and a missing socialite, Zara Fanshawe.
Ray has been nominated for an award and sees his career going well, getting friendly with the Chief Commissioner, Chester Lynch who wants him to move upwards. Ryan just wants to get home for his son’s bedtime and work out how his new relationship with girlfriend, Carol, can continue and fit in with his lifestyle.
As this novel progresses dead bodies start to appear and the two Wilkins need to work really hard to solve a mystery that has its roots many years earlier.
I really liked both the main protagonists, although I think Ryan is my favourite, a maverick detective who sees things very differently, a skill which often leads him to the heart of the case.
His relationship with his young son is delightful and the difficulties he faces as a single father are explored. Police work is not 9-5 so he rarely makes it home to see little Ryan and worries this is affecting his relationship with him. He is described in a humorous way which adds a light hearted touch to the book which contains some very serious themes.
Ray is now the father of twin boys and the sleepless nights are taking a toll on him. He is up early but rarely takes Ryan's calls as he is annoyed that Barko has made Ryan the lead detective. Theirs is a finely balanced partnership but it does seem to work.
I liked the Oxford’ setting- despite the academic background and rarefied architecture, there is a lot of darkness beneath the surface including a lot of homeless people who have been badly treated by the police. This book examines the two sides of the city and ultimately that is the key to solving the case.
I raced through this book and of course when I got to the last page it left me wanting to read more about this entertaining and engaging duo. I hope I don’t have to wait too long.
I definitely recommend “ Lost and Never Found”as a five star read and suggest the earlier books too.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for my advance copy.

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This is a very good series, set in Oxford and featuring two police officers with the same surname of Wilkins. It's well written, with a twisty piece of plotting and plenty twists. I like the characterisation, especially young Ryan who steals the show with his humour! A fast paced, entertaining read which is very enjoyable. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.

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f the tags "Oxford", "Murder" and "Detective" have you salivating about the prospect of real ale in ancient pubs, choirs rehearsing madrigals in college chapels, and the sleuth nursing a glass of single malt while he listens to Mozart on his stereo system, then you should look away now. Simon Mason brings us an Oxford that is very real, and very now. The homeless shiver on their cardboard sleeping mats in deserted churchyards, and the most startling contrast is the sight of Range Rovers and high-end Volvos cruising into car washes manned by numerous illegal immigrants from God-knows-where, all controlled by criminals, probably embedded within the Albanian mafia.

Against this background, meet Detective Inspector Ryan Wilkins, and his partner DI Ray Wilkins (no relation to Ryan or the late footballer) Ray is from a wealthy Nigerian family, happily married, photogenic and a rising in the police hierarchy, while Ryan is - to put it bluntly - what some people might call a Chav. His idea of workwear is silver shell-suit bottoms, baseball cap and knock-off Nike hoodie. He is working hard to revive his career after being suspended. His former girlfriend died of a drug overdose, while his son - Ryan junior, - is largely looked after by Wilkins's sister.

I missed the first novel in the series, but enjoyed the second, The Broken Afternoon, which I reviewed in December last year. Now the unlikely partners are faced with a new mystery. A formerly wealthy heiress, who has frittered away most of her privilege on drugs and a hedonistic lifestyle, has gone missing. Her Rolls Royce is found abandoned after colliding with the gates of the station car park. The tabloids, who have a huge library of back copy on Zoey Fanshawe, sniff a sensation, and they are not wrong. When Ryan finds her body, brutally strangled in an empty Oxford property owned by her former husband, the world and his wife are leaning on him to find the killer.

The concept underpinning this series is the contrast between Ray and Ryan, and that Ryan - the anarchic slob - is the one with the real detective's brain. He is also unlucky in love. His current girlfriend, ostensibly a flourishing florist, has a dark past. We meet everyone's favourite copper, the charismatic Chester Lynch. There isn't a contemporary box she doesn't tick. Female?√ Black?√ Media friendly?√ Wears leather and designer shades?√ So far, her career trajectory has not been impeded by awkward bastards like Ryan Wilkins, who has a habit of asking difficult questions. This is all about to change.

While Ray seems mesmerised by Lynch (who has just offered him a serious promotion) Ryan is immune to the hype, and suspects she is a player in the murky back-story of the late Zoe Fanshawe. The plot of Lost and Never Found is beautifully crafted, and the description of the underbelly of Oxford life - the homeless camping in the graveyards of its ancient churches, and the women plying their trade in the derelict garages of its bleak outer suburbs - is a salutary contrast to the "Dreaming Spires" trope. Another part of the spell that Simon Mason casts is the difference between what Ray and Ryan face when they go home at night. Ray is met by his eminently sensible and forbearing wife Diane, while Ryan faces only the wrath of his sister, and the fact that Ryan junior has fallen asleep yet again without a bed-time story from his dad. This book will be published by Riverrun on 18th January

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Quercus Books for an advance copy of Lost and Never Found, the third novel to feature DI Ryan Wilkins and DI Ray Wilkins of Thames Valley Police, set in Oxford.

Ryan is sent out in the early hours to investigate a crashed Rolls Royce in a rundown street, where he learns that the missing owner previously called Emergency Services and said “This is Zara Fanshawe. Always lost and never found”. The tabloids go wild as Zara is a fixture on their pages. At the same time homeless Lena Wójcik is looking for a dangerous man her community call Waitrose. It is up to Ryan, not the more organised Ray, to lead the enquiry.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lost and Never Found, which is an entertaining read with a well managed, complex plot. It’s kind of reflective of the Wilkins’ personalities with the devil may care Ryan constantly annoying the more rigid, detail orientated Ray.

I don’t really know where to start with the plot. It has countless tiny threads that on their own mean nothing, but gradually build a much bigger picture of interconnecting relationships and, essentially, selfishness. It takes the disorganised, undisciplined Ryan to put it all together and then fight to make others see it. I was very impressed by the way the author builds his story and by the clever story he puts together.

Of course the plot is only half the story in this series. The other half is the interplay between the characters and the not so subtle inversion of prejudice. It is the black Oxford educated Ray who is lauded and the white, trailer park trash Ryan who is derided. Ryan is the star of the show, constantly in trouble for his lack of respect, judged for his street clothing and yet, he has investigative flair with his lateral thinking and bolshy attitude. Not only that, he is self aware and quite funny at times.

Lost and Never found is an entertaining read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Another great story from Simon Mason. DI Ryan Wilkins is one of my very favourite detectives so I was thrilled to be able to read this early copy. I love the mayhem he causes, and his wonderful conversations with his little son. Add to that a good murder and plot and you get a really entertaining thriller. Bring on the next one! Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the arc.

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This is the third in the DI Wilkins series, set in Oxford, and the series has become a definite must-read for me.

It begins with a call from a wayward aristocrat. ‘This is Zara Fanshawe. Always lost and never found.’ The next day, her Rolls Royce is found abandoned, the beautiful, troubled, Zara, gone. Known to the tabloids for drugs, drink, failed relationships and great photo opportunities, she has now vanished, leaving only her car behind.

DI Ryan and Ray Wilkins are excellent characters, and their relationship is also troubled in this book. Ray, urbane, intelligent, up-and-coming, is given an award, presented to him by Chester Lynch, famous for her charity work, for cleaning up the streets, removing the homeless and for being, like Ray, the presentable success story of Black officers in the force. Then there is Ryan. Definitely not put-together, not ex-Oxford, not a success, but sullen and working class, twitchy and mouthy. He has a new girlfriend, Carol, so you might imagine that things are looking up, but Ryan, a single father, is finding that the one relationship he clings to – that with his little son – is suffering as little Ryan is jealous and fears he is losing his father. Meanwhile, Ryan cannot help but be jealous that Ray is being recognised and winning awards and Ray is frustrated by Ryan’s constant rule breaking and inability to please.

As Ryan sets out to find what happened to missing socialite, Zara, he finds that there are links to the poor of the university town, that he finds difficult to understand. What links Zara with a homeless man, known only as ‘Waitrose,’ and to the, oh-so-cool, Chester Lynch? Lynch has the measure of Ryan, but he is used to that, and you have to cheer him on in this novel, as he tries to hold the remnants of his career, and his life, together, while Ray struggles with the demands of being a new father and the never-ending ambitions of his father.

If you like intelligent crime novels, with excellent characters, then try this series. I would definitely start with the first, ‘A Killing in November,’ but if you start with the latest, then you can always work backwards. Just read them and I promise that you will love them. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

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This is the third I have read in this series. The best part is the two leading characters, DI Ray Wilkins and DI Ryan Wilkins. They are total opposites but it somehow works.

A famous beautiful female socialite is found murdered and her Rolls Royce is elsewhere, crashed. It is up to the two Wilkins to solve this but they are not getting on for various reasons. The plot for this one was a bit convoluted and I was not wholly satisfied at the ending but still a great read.

I recommend this to lovers of detective fiction. I read a copy provided by NetGalley and the publishers.

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Another superb outing for the mismatched duo of DI Ryan and Ray Wilkins - No Relation.

Set in Oxford, this series really highlights the class divide In the UK,and with these 2 Inspectors.

The story revolves around a rich play girl going missing, and the homeless of Oxford and the part they play - or don’t - in what happens on the streets.

A excellent mystery plays out that is plotted so well, and you can’t help but take Ryan to heart and Ray as well to an extent.

A series that goes from strength to strength but there some things I’d like see especially with Ryan’s Character development. He doesn’t seem to learn at all -though I suspect Ryan is on the spectrum as well as his 3 year old son who is almost a philosopher at that age .

Great read and look forward to where Simon Mason takes the duo.

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At three o'clock in the morning, Emergency Services receives a call. 'This is Zara Fanshawe. Always lost and never found.' An hour later, the wayward celebrity's Rolls Royce Phantom is found abandoned in dingy Becket Street. The paparazzi go wild. For some reason, news of Zara's disappearance prompts homeless woman Lena Wójcik to search the camps, nervously, for the bad-tempered vagrant known as 'Waitrose', a familiar sight in Oxford pushing his trolley of possessions. But he's nowhere to be found either. Who will lead the investigation and cope with the media frenzy?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book but had not heard of the author so I did not realise this was the third book in the series. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the book as I was none the wiser. There is a great array of characters that contribute to making this a great story.

The relationship between Ray and Ryan was an interesting one, Ray more of a follower of the rules where Ryan just follows his heart as to what he thinks needs doing to get the investigation going and find answers to Zara's death. His boss Dave 'Barko' Wallace has brought him back into the fold but as the story progresses he has his doubts that he has done the right thing. Soon Ray is offered a promotion to move away from being a street cop and move up the management ladder but has the person gunning for him to do so have his best interests at heart, and if he takes this will he miss his former partner and life solving crimes from the street level? The other main characters such as Chester are well thought out and have a great deal of depth to them, there is definitely something dirty going on and it is up to Ryan to delve deeper and see what role these people play.

Both detectives have children that play quite a large role in the story and show their human side, Ray with twins with his wife and Ryan a single dad of a three year old who is looked after by his sister while he is away working. As I said I have not read the previous books but it would have been good to see how these relationships have progressed since the beginning.

The story is fast paced and keeps you turning the pages. Lots of action and suspence and all the makings of a great read. Highly recommended. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for an advanced copy of the book, all opinions are my own.

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Simon Mason's latest in his Oxford based series highlights the class inequalities of the city as he immerses the reader in the darker aspects, the large, hiding in plain sight, homeless community, underlined by his protagonists. The 2 DI Wilkins, are not related, the smooth, suave, designer dressed, ambitious, with his Nigerian background, Oxford educated DI Ray Wilkins, and his tracksuit wearing, brash, but effective, DI Ryan Wilkins, with his trailer park history, living with sister, Jade, who helps care for his young beloved son, the adorable little Ryan. At a town hall ceremony, superstar cop, the charismatic and controversial black Deputy Chief Constable Chester Lynch presents Ray with an award, making it abundantly clear to him she sees a bright stellar future for him.

Emergency services receives a strange phone call from the wealthy, beautiful, famous, recently divorced from her hedge fund billionaire husband, Lawrence Hobhouse, with a well known history of drug addiction, Zara Fanshaw, saying 'Always lost and never found'. What could this possibly meant? When her car, a Rolls Royce Phantom, is found crashed, with Zara having disappeared, the police know they have a hot potato on their hands with a guaranteed media frenzy. Ryan is sent to the scene, and much to the frustration and resentment of Ray, their boss, Superintendent Dave 'Barko' Wallace appoints Ryan as the lead investigator to the most high profile of cases. You have to wonder what Wallace was thinking, Ryan has no experience or training in taking charge of a case, nor of media presentations, he has no political skills, speaks without thinking, and is often offensive.

The scene is set for fractious relationships and explosive scenarios, it is perhaps no wonder that Ray is tempted by the offer of a huge promotion to a more ambassadorial police role. Nothing is as it appears in what turns out to be the most challenging and twisted of cases, of secrets and buried pasts, one that tests Wallace to his limits in a number of ways and which at the end has him telling Ryan he is the worst and best of police officers. This is a great, engaging and entertaining crime series, with a fascinating pair of odd couple protagonists, that I am sure will appeal to a wide range of readers who enjoy the crime and mystery genre. However, I hope Mason is planning to allow Ryan to make some steps towards learning to become a better police officer by developing his character, whilst perhaps having the police putting more effort into providing strategic support to address some of his glaring weaknesses. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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This is a tremendous series which gets better with every instalment. The basic premise of two guys called DI Wilkins, Ray and Ryan, one an Oxford graduate and the other from a trailer park, works really well, and their contrasting characters are fascinating. Oxford is an ideal setting and the descriptions of the City Of Dreaming Spires are excellent. The plot involves a series of murders of people who must be connected somehow, but how? I loved it!

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If you haven’t read this series, you really should. There are two Oxford police officers who both have the surname Wilkins: Ray and Ryan. Ray is ambitious, highly educated and sensible; Ryan was born in a trailer park, is impulsive, reckless but brilliant. This third instalment starts with Ray receiving an award but Ryan being put in charge of their next case. The car of a famous socialite with addiction problems has been found abandoned. The investigation leads them into the world of rough sleeping, drug taking and rich students. Ray continues to try to make something of himself to impress his dad and Ryan continues to blunder around offending everyone. The result of the case is dramatic and sad and Ryan’s son continues to bring humour and joy to the story. I am very much looking forward to the next book. Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC.

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I loved this book, the third in the series. DI Ray Wilkinson and DI Ryan Wilkinson are chalk and cheese police officers, based in Oxford. Ray is Nigerian British, public school educated, well-dressed, smooth, and a bit up himself, Ryan was born in a trailer park, has no qualifications, manners or dress sense, but came top in the recruitment process for candidates with different backgrounds. Ray is married to Diane, and they have new twin sons; Ryan has a son, also called Ryan, and they live with (adult) Ryan's sister Jade, and her daughter. Ryan's relationship with his son, and their conversations are one of the biggest pleasures of these books.
in this book, the pair are investigating the disappearance of Zara, a wealthy socialite. As the story develops, the detectives contrasting skills help them to crack the case, which turns out to be unexpectedly complicated. Along the way, there are a lot of misunderstandings, arguments and disciplinary issues for Ryan. The colleagues, friends and families of the detectives are all good characters. Highly recommended.

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