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What We’re Reading: Lost Girls

Post by Cathleen Keyser
Posted February 25, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

by Robert Kolker

What is it about?
In December 2010, the bodies of five women were found in Oak Beach, Long Island, all apparent victims of a serial killer.  All had advertised their services on Craigslist – all for different reasons.  Some for the money, some for the thrill, some had no other choice.  True Crime books are full of these kinds of pointless and brutal murders, but what makes this story different is how the author turns it into a compelling case study of these five victims.  Robert Kolker, an award-winning investigative journalist, researched extensively, conducting numerous interviews with the victims’ families and friends and with police investigators.  He paints a picture of incredible depth and compassion for the victims, but it also provides insight into the online sex trade and society’s treatment of sex workers.

Why I like it:
To say this book is a haunting piece of investigative journalism is to sell it short. When it comes to crime stories, our society has a tendency to focus on the murderer rather than the victim.  Kolker present the unsolved mystery, but illustrates the victims’ lives in the most engrossing, empathetic, and riveting way.  This is a deeply moving book that is impossible to put down.

"I'd recommend this book to…"
I’ve recommended this book to anyone and everyone I know – for its vivid writing, rich details, and an entrancing storyline.  Now I’m recommending it to you!

Recommended by Cathleen Keyser, Collection Development Coordinator at NoveList.