“A quick skim of writers’ Twitter feeds (including, uh, my own) reveals they can be a self-aggrandizing lot. Not Robert Kolker — though a bit of ego would be justified. Kolker’s first book, Lost Girls, the story of a still-at-large serial killer targeting call girls on Long Island, was acclaimed for its compassionate take on the disappearance of America’s discarded women. It is now a film on Netflix. A story he wrote for New York magazine about a dashing but embezzling school superintendent on Long Island has been made into the HBO film Bad Education, starring Hugh Jackman and premiering on April 25th. His latest book, Hidden Valley Road, the story of a family ravaged by mental illness, was an immediate bestseller upon its release earlier this month, and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club.
“The essence of Kolker’s success: He possesses multitudes of the empathy gene. A former colleague of mine at New York, he can listen to you drone on and on about your problems, and then unobtrusively offer an observation or question that makes you look at the situation in a different light….”
“Inside the Bestselling Medical Mystery ‘Hidden Valley Road,” April 22, 2020