"The power of Robert Kolker’s immensely evocative book Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery is that it makes it close to impossible to look into the lives of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Overstreet Costello and not feel their loss. As well as their losses. The same holds for Shannan Gilbert, whose body was discovered in a nearby marsh a year later. The police had been searching for her after an incident at the gated community of Oak Beach on Jones Beach Island when they happened on the four corpses. Kolker, a writer for New York magazine, is able to dispassionately flesh out what it means to grow up not standing much of a chance, as these women did."