Lost Girls: A Novel

Lost Girls: A Novel

by Andrew Pyper

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Bartholomew Christian Crane is a criminal defence lawyer who wins. Thirty-three, silver-tongued and driven by a moral code that preaches, "There are no such things as lies, only misperceptions," Barth is ripe for the first murder trial of his career. Two fourteen-year-old girls have gone missing and presumably lie on the bottom of a lake just outside an economically depressed northern town. Though everyone believes the girls' English teacher is guilty, no bodies have yet been discovered and there is little other substantial evidence. As Barth begins work on a trial that quickly slides into a nightmarish blur between dream and reality, he feels an uneasy connection to the victims—and to the ghost that haunts the lake's waters. Lost Girls is an audacious, darkly comic literary thriller that catches the reader off guard at every turn, a single mystery that fractures into many, a story of ghosts both real and imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476764511
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/05/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 87,198
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

ANDREW PYPER was born in Stratford, Ontario. His debut novel, Lost Girls, won the Arthur Ellis Award; it was a national bestseller, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book. His other works include The Trade Mission, which was in the Toronto Star’s Top Ten Best Books of the Year; The Wildfire Season, a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year; The Killing Circle, another bestseller in Canada; and The Guardians, which was published internationally in 2011. His new novel, The Demonologist, will be published around the world in Spring 2013. Pyper is also the author of Kiss Me, a collection of short stories. His home is in Toronto. Visit him online at www.andrewpyper.com.

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Lost Girls 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's no way this was close to $10 good. With all the hype I expected much more. Not scary or terrifying at all. Not much mystery either. In fact at times it was easy to get lost and not even realize what was going on. I think 3 stars was generous.
kaylol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Can't say I liked it and it could have been better but it's ok.
ShelfMonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked up a copy of Andrew Pyper's LOST GIRLS at a yard sale, for the unbelievably low price of a dollar. The book jacket was covered with praise and accolades for Pyper's tale of murder and madness in northern Ontario, and I faintly remembered there being some buzz on the literary scene following its publication a few years ago. But I have had some bad experiences with book jacket blurbs as of late, and was cautious.So, steeled against disappointment, I plunged ahead, and was fortunate to discover that my dollar had not gone to waste. LOST GIRLS is a dark and moody thriller, a compulsive page-turner of high caliber. But for a novel that presents itself as more of a John Grisham-type foray into shallowly-drawn characters and legal machinations, LOST GIRLS is almost the opposite, a heavily character-driven story that has far more to do with acceptance of one's own past actions than it does the courtroom. LOST GIRLS is less a legal suspense story than it is a ghost story, where buried secrets threaten to overcome those unable to reconcile the past and the present.LOST GIRLS follows the first murder case of Bartholomew Crane, a criminal defense attorney with few qualms about what needs to be done to successfully defend his clients. He is summoned up to the remote northern Ontario town of Murdoch, where Thom Tripp has been charged with the murder of two young girls. The drawback is, there are no bodies with which to confirm the murders, and anything that points to his client as a killer is circumstantial at best. But despite this clearly winnable situation, Crane slowly finds himself doubting his reasons for wanting to defend Tripp. Local superstition points towards the involvement of an angry spirit in the lake, and Crane begins to have sightings of things he cannot easily explain away.Pyper has set himself a daunting task to perform, and has only added to the pressure by manufacturing his antagonist as an extremely unlikable character. Crane is an impotent, cocaine-snorting mess of a man, a man not above outright lying in the pursuit of winning a case. Any moral qualms he may have about what his clients have done pales in comparison to his almost fanatical devotion to winning. But Pyper is careful not to judge his character; very often in criminal defence work, a moral qualm can only get in the way of providing the best possible defence as required by law. Pyper understands this dichotomy, and it may be one of the reasons a reader might be displeased with the novel. It is much easier to get behind a crusading warrior for good than a determined lawyer who understands that everyone is entitled to be thought innocent until proven guilty. That is the law, and the way our society functions. Pyper appreciates the stress this can put on a person, and acknowledges that sometimes the job can be arduous.Pyper's strength in creating a story comes from his refusal to take the easy way out. Instead of cheapening the plot by having a more crowd-pleasing conclusion (i.e., evil lawyer recognizes the serious vocational error he has made, and travels back from the dark side), Pyper gives us an inner journey of self-discovery. What Crane slowly evolves into has nothing to do with a laypersons one-sided view of morality and the law, and everything to do with atoning for the sins and regrets of past exploits.Pyper's addition of a ghost story to the mix is one of his only missteps. While it does much to establish an atmosphere of dread, it never seems fully resolved. Crane's frequent forays to the lakeside become increasingly bizarre, and loaded with coincidence. It serves to fuel the plot, but it's incomplete, unfocused. And Crane and Tripp's final meeting is presented in such a way as to drain any tension from the story. It's an ending, but it feels rushed. And Crane's legal superiors, Lyle and Gederov, are caricatures of the worst sort; one-dimensional criminal lawyers who represent the most basic stereotype of the immoral lawyer. They allow Cra
EclecticReaderAL More than 1 year ago
For me, this book took a little getting into. I didn't start to feel impelled to read it until I got about a third of the way in. The reveal at the climax was obvious almost from the beginning. Bartholomew Crane is a tortured lawyer on cocaine representing his first murderer. Atmosphere is the chief focus - the book moves from dark to suffocating. At some point you connect with Crane and go along for his ride. I didn't find the writing to be new and different so much as old-style gothic. The book has the tone, the style, and the dark setting to make it feel like a classic Gothic novel. Good reading for a first novel, I just picked up Wildfire Season by Pyper. I am anxious to see if he has upped his game.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! Pyper's style of writing is unique. He reminds me of Alice Hoffman. I'll definately read his other books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
it kept me at the end of my seat i loved it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bartholomew Christian Crane is a lost soul of questionable lawyerly morality. His first murder trial is the case of the lost girls, two missing teenagers from Murdoch, an odd little town in northern Ontario. Barth relies on sarcasm and cocaine as he encounters strippers, a ghost and his strange client. Will he emerge from this trial unscathed? Author Pyper's background as a poet is evident from the opening paragraph of this, his debut novel. The story is liberally sprinkled with Pyper's own brand of humor, spiced with unique imagery and the authentic flavor of the north. He had me hooked from the opening scene and he's Canadian, too. If you enjoy intelligent crime fiction, suspenseful fantasy or well-crafted stories, this book is a must-read. But be warned, this is not a typical court-room drama or a brain-candy upper. The story is soulful, depressing and riveting.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Garth Crane is a high powered Toronto attorney who relishes the rush he receives when he wins a case. Ethics are not a problem, as Barth will do anything to triumph, including lying under oath, cheating, and tampering with witnesses.

The tightly focused lawyer travels to Murdoch, Ontario on his first murder case. Local high school teacher Thomas Tripp is accused of killing two students. Barth expects an easy victory because the bodies of the victims were never recovered nor are there any witnesses that Tripp committed a crime. Circumstantial evidence links the suspect to the murder. The barrister settles in at the local hotel and begins to immerse himself in the life of the town in an effort to gain an edge for his client. Gradually, the legend of the Lady in the Lake begins to haunt him; changing him and making him take actions that will effect Garth for the rest of his life.

LOST GIRLS is an atmospheric work that seems gothic in tone. The story line gradually builds up the tension level until the reader feels, like Garth, overwhelmed and anxious. Garth is a loathsome person, yet the audience will feel drawn to him, especially as he travels down a road nobody could have foreseen he would take. Andrew Pyper¿s ability to bring his story to life is brilliant and will leave readers clamoring for more works as soon as possible. Don¿t be surprised if this book hits the charts.

Harriet Klausner