ISBN is

978-0-440-23546-0 / 9780440235460

Lost Girls

by

Publisher:Dell

Language:English

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About the book:

Bartholomew Crane's first homicide trial ought to be an easy win for the young, arrogant Toronto attorney. The bodies of two missing teenagers--the Lost Girls--have never been found, and there's slight forensic evidence to tie the chief suspect, a high school English teacher, to their disappearance. Dispatched to the Canadian north woods to defend Thomas Tripp against a murder charge, Crane packs his omnipresent flask of cocaine and begins preparing to demolish the Crown's flimsy, highly circumstantial case. Crane doesn't care whether Tripp is guilty; his only job is to get him off. But Crane's client won't cooperate in his own defense, and the citizens of the small, depressed town are clamoring for his conviction.

Within days, Crane's waking and sleeping hours are haunted by odd occurrences: the disturbing apparitions of a madwoman who drowned in the same mist-shrouded lake where Tripp is assumed to have disposed of his victims; the incessant ringing of a telephone down the empty hallway of his motel; the bizarre tale of a 100-year-old murder told by an elderly woman whose own daughter was claimed by the legendary Lady of Lake St. Christopher. In short order, the facts and surmises of the case become intertwined with Crane's visions and nightmares, and what had seemed like a straightforward, easily defended case based on wrongful accusation becomes a morality play in which the protagonist himself must answer for events that occurred 20 years ago.

A brooding, moody novel as dark as its setting, Lost Girls is less a courtroom drama than a ghost story hinged on a thin plot. Crane is not a particularly likable or sympathetic character, and Pyper's attempts at creating atmosphere favor the "It was a dark and stormy night" school of genre writing. But fans of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul will find this a chilly enough read to occupy just that kind of evening. --Jane Adams

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