What books caught my eye this week as they passed over the library counter and under my scanner? Missing girls this week....
First up was The Girl With No Name by Marina Chapman with Lynne Barrett-Lee.
"The riveting account of a girl who was abandoned in the jungle and lived among
monkeys. In the early 1950s, in a remote mountain village in South America, as a
small girl Marina Chapman was abducted while picking pea pods near her home. Her
kidnappers then abandoned her deep in the Colombia jungle, and for approximately
the next five years she lived with a troop of capuchin monkeys, eating what they
ate, copying what they did, and gradually becoming feral. Eventually, she was
taken from the jungle by a pair of hunters and sold as a slave to a couple in
the town of Cucuta who beat and tortured her. After she managed to escape, she
spent several years as a street child before being taken in by a family of
criminals. Finally, a sympathetic neighbour arranged for her to go live with her
daughter in safety in Bogota. Wild Child tells this spellbinding story in vivid
detail; from the enchantment of the shady garden where Marina was kidnapped to
the dappled darkness of her jungle home to the hunger, poverty, and pain of her
existence in Cucuta. The book also offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into
the world of capuchin monkeys. This is a unique and inspiring story of
abandonment, despair, and eventual happiness."
Next up was Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker.
From the publisher, Harper Collins:
"Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a haunting and
humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on
Long Island, in a compelling tale of unsolved murder and Internet prostitution.
One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the
oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one
who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the
twenty-four-year-old: she was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a
scene—of what, no one could be sure. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to
have paid little attention—until seven months later, when an unexpected
discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all
evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's.
There was Maureen Brainard-Barnes, last seen at Penn Station in Manhattan
three years earlier, and Melissa Barthelemy, last seen in the Bronx in 2009.
There was Megan Waterman, last seen leaving a hotel in Hauppage, Long Island,
just a month after Shannan's disappearance in 2010, and Amber Lynn Costello,
last seen leaving a house in West Babylon a few months later that same year.
Like Shannan, all four women were petite and in their twenties, they all came
from out of town to work as escorts, and they all advertised on Craigslist and
its competitor, Backpage.
In a triumph of reporting—and in a riveting narrative—Robert Kolker presents
the first detailed look at the shadow world of escorts in the Internet age,
where making a living is easier than ever and the dangers remain all too real.
He has talked exhaustively with the friends and family of each woman to reveal
the three-dimensional truths about their lives, the struggling towns they came
from, and the dreams they chased. And he has gained unique access to the Oak
Beach neighborhood that has found itself the focus of national media
scrutiny—where the police have flailed, the body count has risen, and the
neighbors have begun pointing fingers at one another. There, in a remote
community, out of sight of the beaches and marinas scattered along the South
Shore barrier islands, the women's stories come together in death and dark
mystery. Lost Girls is a portrait not just of five women, but of
unsolved murder in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet,
and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them."
(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come to the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But...I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)