New York magazine writer Robert Kolker's first book is an investigation into the case of the Long Island Serial Killer, and a sensitive look at the lives of its victims
Lost Girls is a not a "true crime" book that lingers lovingly on grisly details. It focuses on the lives of the victims, who are not at all what you'd expect. I can't do better than quote Bob here, who said in an interview with Publisher's Weekly:
[I learned] that everything that was commonly assumed about them was wrong. They weren’t outcasts. They stayed in close touch with their families—their mothers and sisters, and, in some cases, boyfriends and children. These weren’t classic cases of human trafficking, either; they weren’t kidnapped or enslaved or held hostage as undocumented immigrants. What they had in common was that they all came from parts of the country the media overlooks—poor, struggling areas where becoming a prostitute might not have been the most desirable path, yet somehow has become a valid, almost normal option. What made the choice to be an escort easier than ever was [Web sites like] Craigslist and Backpage. Prostitutes no longer have to walk the streets or even work with agencies or pimps. The backdrop of an open murder case offered an ideal opportunity to write about the story of five young women’s lives and their families in a way that would make people rethink the mythology and clichés that our culture projects onto prostitution.
For the book launch, we created two simple sites: one for Lost Girls itself and a separate author site, where Bob could both feature this book and also his other work. The author site has a blog, which we personally hounded him into creating, so if you like it, it's all because of us. The heart of the Lost Girl's site, is an interactive map, which tells you details about the victims, their lives, and how the physical evidence they left behind relates to the case.