Monday, April 14, 2014

Top ten books about missing persons

Laura Lippman's latest novel is After I'm Gone.

At the Guardian, she explained the allure of a particularly seductive and well-populated corner of literature in the preface to her top ten list of books about missing persons:
[T]he open-ended nature of missing person stories make them even more compelling [than murder stories]. They are real-life ghost stories, in which those who remain behind are haunted endlessly by the possible fates of those who have left them. In writing After I'm Gone, I thought a lot about how we can ever reconcile ourselves to the loss of someone vital. Even if – or especially if – it's a person that others feel we have no real claim on.
One title on Lippman's list:
The Song is You, by Megan Abbott

One of my favourite crime writers, Abbott is probably best known for her stunning novels that centre on the lives of contemporary teenage girls. But she also has written several outstanding period pieces, including this one, inspired by the 1949 disappearance of the actress Jean Spangler. The story is told from the point of view of jaded PR guy Gil "Hop" "Hopkins and, to use the parlance of its characters, it's a knock-out.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue