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Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery Paperback – May 6, 2014
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: As you might expect from the story of a serial killer who preys on prostitutes, the young women in Robert Kolker’s enthralling Lost Girls were already, in many ways, lost. Prostitutes and runaways, their murders might have easily elicited a what-did-they-expect shrug. (Certainly that’s how the police at times seemed to handle the case). What sets Lost Girls apart is Kolker’s empathetic and detailed portrayals of the victims, based on hundreds of hours of interviews with their families and friends. This is an impressive and impassioned work of investigative journalism, and a chilling commentary on the entangled influences of economics, race, technology and politics on sex and murder in the Internet age. Kolker, a reporter for New York magazine, is that rare-breed journalist who latched onto a difficult story and refused to let go. In this haunting tale, he bravely and meticulously recreates the lives of once hopeful but sadly forgotten young women, while shining a light on the economic hardships that pushed them to make tough, risky choices. A colleague told me that after finishing Lost Girls she spent hours researching the victims and the case online. Her warning to me is my promise to you: Be prepared to obsess. --Neal Thompson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Kolker is a careful writer and researcher...[he paints] a far more nuanced picture of each young woman than any screaming headline could.” (Miami Herald)
“Through extensive interviews with the victims’ families and friends, Kolker creates compassionate portraits of the murdered young women, and uncovers the forces that drove them from their respective home towns into risky, but lucrative, careers as prostitutes in a digital age.” ( New Yorker )
“Captivating.” (Boston Globe)
“Robert Kolker unflinchingly probes the 21st-century innovations that facilitated these crimes… ...An important examination of the socioeconomic and cultural forces that can shape a woman’s entry into prostitution.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Beautifully and provocatively written.... [Lost Girls] will make all but the hardest-hearted empathetic. Add a baffling whodunit that remains, as the subtitle indicates, unsolved, and you have a captivating true crime narrative that’s sure to win new converts and please longtime fans of the genre.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Robert Kolker’s LOST GIRLS is reportage at the highest level; it’s miss-your-bedtime storytelling… It’s a wonder.” (Darin Strauss, author of Half A Life)
“Lost Girls is a marvelous book, taking a complicated, trying story and making it compulsively readable. Kolker is an outstanding reporter and a sensitive narrator who does justice to a horrible tragedy by paying exactly the kind of attention that no one else did, or would.” (Nick Reding, author of Methland)
“The absence of the killer is the making of this book, a constraint that allows it to become extraordinary…humane and imaginative…[Kolker] shows the dented magnificence and universal sorrow within ordinary lives, and makes you realize how much more they are worth.” ( Laura Miller, Salon )
“Kolker indulges in zero preaching and very little sociology; his is the lens of a classic police reporter. And often in Lost Girls, the facts are eloquent in themselves.” (Newsday)
“Some true crime books are exploitative…others grasp at serious literature. Robert Kolker’s new book falls into the latter category.” (New York Observer)
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The book is paced out well and does not grow wearisome, as some non - fiction can. I was engrossed in the details of this book. It really hit me emotionally. It brought out horror, pity, righteous anger, bafflement, and sorrow. I hoped for an ending like the movies, but reality only gives enough answers to invite further questions, it seems.
I sincerely appreciate the care which the author took to humanize the girls, be very detailed and give an unbiased view of the events and people. I think that this is a great tribute to all of these poor, lost souls.
I hope they catch who did the killing and for peace for the loved ones left behind in the wake of such atrocities. I recommend this book and thank the author.
I guess I'm not sorry I read it, but it was pretty unsatisfying. The narratives of the murdered women blended together, and this was not helped by them being called various names at various points. Kolker did not succeed at characterizations that made them pop as individuals, and while not trying to narrate their inner lives is responsible journalism, it did make many of their actions inexplicable, as well and muddling them all together.
After finishing the whole book- I began to wonder what was the point of having read it (or written it). It was too long to be a succinct description of the way our society deems some people "disposable" and does not show them the consideration we all deserve, by the end, that dead horse had been thoroughly beaten. It might have been more effective at half its length. Add to that the lack of any resolution at all and... well, I suppose it's very "literary" and post-modern.
Reasonably well-written, but not recommended.
Considering all the rumors and conspiracy surrounding this sad tale. I was able to find my way around the many discrepancies and chaos. Indeed it seemed a few were looking for their moment of fame. Then the others that wished this all went away. So if you continue to read and are 'well read' should understand that pointing fingers isn't a solution. Rather ignoring it is the problem. As well as this being the oldest yet extremely dangerous profession. The Internet has only facilitated it yet is a given...indeed a perilous life. No matter how street savvy these girls can be danger lurks in the darkness they so walk. Hope this book open young women eyes that think of this as a fast way to make cash. The lack of both humanity and, indifference towards these young girls is exactly the reason they go unnoticed. The fact is we still have an intelligent sadistic maniac - walking, working amongst us yet he only targets prostitute's so most - the world could care less...is what bothers me most.
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Award-winning investigative reporter, Robert Kolker delves into the LOST...Read more