The Lost Girls

Putnam. Jul. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9780593191095. pap. $17. M
Marti Reese’s life hasn’t been the same since her older sister Maggie stepped into a car with a man and told eight-year-old Marti to run. Twenty years later, Marti is called to the police station to see if a Jane Doe’s corpse might be Maggie. Marti has turned her pain into an award-winning podcast, but it also destroys her marriage as her drinking spins out of control. When Marti receives a message from a woman named Ava Vreeland, she and her podcasting partner grab this opportunity to investigate their next case. Ava is convinced that her brother Colin was convicted of a murder he didn’t commit, and she thinks that Maggie’s disappearance might hold the key to the crime. According to Ava, the Reese sisters grew up in the same neighborhood as Colin’s alleged victim. Marti launches an investigation, feeling that she’s spent her entire adult life chasing after lost girls who never got the chance to grow up. There’s a master manipulator out there who knows every one of Marti’s secrets and uses them to free a killer, but they don’t count on Marti’s survival instincts.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy true crime, especially podcasts, as well as thrillers featuring unreliable narrators, will appreciate Chiarella’s (And Again) haunting story of lost girls, lost women, and revenge.
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