Review: 4 out of 5 starsI’m sort of at a loss for words about how to describe this book, it is unlike anything I have read most recently and it bought about a lot of moral and emotional questions about the overall subject matter – the deceased who have returned to life – not reincarnated or in any other form but as they were before they died.The book centres on an elderly couple in their seventies and their 8 year-old son who has returned exactly as he was before his tragic drowning accident fifty years prior. Told in third person narrative with alternating chapters of a select group of people who have returned; I found this to be unique as we relive their thoughts and see the reactions of those they are returning to which didn’t come without a bout of extremely mixed feelings and worldwide commotion.Despite the slow pacing, I found the premise for The Returned to be unique and compelling, the plot follows loved ones who have returned to life, exactly the same way they were before death – age, looks, behaviour and reactions; nothing has changed except for their aging family and friends. You can imagine the many reactions to this unnatural occurrence, everyone was at a loss and the government had to find a way to ‘sort out’ the problem.The author certainly takes us on a thought provoking, intense journey as these long lost loved ones are returning in droves all around the world; there is confusion, anger, joy, chaos and an array of mixed emotions about what should happen to some of them and also the question about what they had actually returned as and why – it was completely unusual. Most of my answers were answered but with a book with this subject matter a lot also sprung to mind and I don’t feel as if we get complete closure about why the dead returned, it was quite subjective.Jason Mott’s writing was engaging, his words flow beautifully and I found myself completely absorbed in the overall story which was creative and at times dark and gritty which made for a thrilling read. The characters were believable in their reactions and with their emotions and each were likable.Overall, a compelling read which raised a lot of questions about society, faith, human nature, morals and emotions.Thank-you kindly to Harlequin Mira for the opportunity to read and review The Returned.