Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls (2013) was a knockout of a true crime book, a brilliant meditation and amazingly deep investigation of several young women who were using Craigslist to advertise their services. The bodies, found in a marsh and a nearby beach on Long Island, should have inspired a major investigation, but Kolker conveys the lack of interest most people—including law enforcement—have toward dead prostitutes, and how that indifference affected the families of the dead girls. 

For his next book, Hidden Valley Road, Kolker has left crime behind and presents a fascinating study of the Galvin family which had twelve children born between 1945 and 1965. By the mid-1970s, six of ten of the Galvin boys were diagnosed as schizophrenic. Kolker again does a heroic job reconstructing the dynamics and disappointments of belonging to a family. He’s one of those writers I would follow anywhere, and I strongly suggest you do the same.

13 Books You Should Read in April,” April 1, 2020