November 29, 2018

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

Synopsis:
Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island and presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of online escorts, where making a living is easier than ever, and the dangers remain all too real. A triumph of reporting, a riveting narrative, and "a lashing critique of how society and the police let five young women down" (Dwight Garner, The New York Times), Lost Girls is a portrait of unsolved murders in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.

There is something about the writing style that bothered me. I kept trying to put my finger on it, but the best I can come up with is that it’s not very fluid. The short sentences make the reading very choppy. 

Jumping into true crime with I'll Be Gone in the Dark and The Stranger Beside Me may have been a bad idea. Those are very personal works, but this one is so distant. You don’t hear about Robert at all. Maybe that’s why the writing style wasn’t as intriguing to me too. I felt like I was reading a fifth party account of everything. Just a retelling - which all books are. . . They just don’t all FEEL that way. 

The writing in the second half of the book was better than the first, but there was something that just kept taking me out of it. It was easy to put it down after each chapter. At times, it even had me looking to see how many more pages were in the chapter. You never want that while reading. 

I was upset that I didn’t get sucked into the book. The case is really interesting and I was invested in the story, just not this telling of it. I stuck it out because I wanted to read it to completion, but it felt like a bit of a chore at times. 

Lost Girls does start important conversations about how sex workers are treated. From every day citizens to law enforcement. As he points out, it’s been a part of every culture since the beginning of time, so why does society still treat sex work as such a taboo subject and why does that profession lead to so much judgement? Sex workers need protections just like anyone else. I wish that was a commonly shared belief. 

2/5 Stars


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