One of PopSugar's Best Books of 2021
When her true-crime podcast becomes an overnight sensation, a young woman is pulled into the web of a case that may offer a surprising connection to her own sister's disappearance years earlier.
It's been more than twenty years since Marti Reese's sister, Maggie, disappeared. Only eight-years-old at the time, Marti can't remember what happened, just that Maggie got into a car and never returned. After years of grief and countless false leads, Marti is coping as best she can: abandoning her marriage, drinking to forget, and documenting her never-ending search via a true-crime podcast. But when the podcast becomes an unexpected hit and Marti thinks she's finally ready to put it all behind her, a mysterious woman calls with new information that could lead her down a dangerous path.
For years, Ava Vreeland has been fighting to overturn her brother's murder conviction. After finding strange similarities between the two cases, Ava is certain there's a connection between the murder and Maggie's disappearance, one that could prove her brother's innocence. Together, Marti and Ava embark on a quest for the truth, but the more Marti digs, the more she's shaken by the answers she might find, and what it is she's even searching for...
About the Author
Jessica Chiarella is the author of And Again. She holds an MA in writing and publishing from DePaul University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
One of PopSugar's Best Books of 2021
“Elegantly written…The book begins at a leisurely pace, all dark mood and dark character, and then accelerates at a dizzying rate.” –The New York Times Book Review
“A dark tale of family, loss and grief, this is a haunting story.” –Parkersburg News and Sentinel
“One of the best [books] I have read in a long time. Jessica Chiarella keeps you second-guessing where the story will end and just who the real culprit might have been....[T]he plot is fast-paced and has you turning page after page to figure out what’s next.” –Bowling Green Daily News
“Outstanding…Surprising twists accent this poignant story about two women, each with a single-minded goal. Chiarella is a writer to watch.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Readers who enjoy true crime, especially podcasts, as well as thrillers featuring unreliable narrators, will appreciate Chiarella’s haunting story of lost girls, lost women, and revenge.” –Library Journal (starred review)
"Engrossing...Chiarella brilliantly blends disturbing past events and the heart-thumping present, throwing the reader into Marti's twisted and obsessive world. Marti is a sympathetic character despite her self-destructive life choices, and the plot moves steadily without revealing itself prematurely. Readers who expect a neat satisfying conclusion will be disappointed—but enthralled nonetheless. Fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins will enjoy this one." –Booklist
“Chiarella expertly balances Marti’s emotional turmoil and sense of loss with the dark mystery at the heart of The Lost Girls….You can’t help but feel Marti’s anguish, as well as admire her tenacity to uncover the truth despite knowing what she may find….[A] richly textured missing persons story.” –BookPage
"Dark, clever and gripping. Starting with its ripped-from-the-headlines opening to its fast and furious descent down the rabbit hole of lies, deceit and revenge, The Lost Girls grabs you by the throat and never lets go. Fans of podcasts, true crime and edgy thrillers must read this book!" –Lisa Gardner, author of Before She Disappeared
"The Lost Girls is an up-to-the-minute modern thriller with a true-crime feel and a gritty protagonist unafraid to spit in justice's eye." –Alma Katsu, author of Red Widow