Little Girl Lost


Author: Richard Aleas

Title: Little Girl Lost


Publication Date: 2004

Number of Pages: 221

Geographical Setting: New York

Time Period: Contemporary

Series: followed by Songs of Innocence.

Plot Summary:

John Blake is a PI, but not the Mike Hammer/Raymond Chandler tough-guy sort. Instead, he’s an English major who couldn’t find a better gig and now he’s a desk-bound detective, doing all his investigating from the safety of an office and an Ethernet connection. All that changes one day when he reads the paper to find out Miranda, his high school girlfriend who he’s not seen in ten years is dead. Murdered. On the roof of the strip club where she worked, not living the quiet suburban life he imagined for her. As he digs deeper he ends up hunted by the police and by a mob boss and his men, while trying to uncover what happened to Miranda and her now-missing best friend Jocelyn.

Subject Headings: Detectives, murder mystery, strip clubs,

Appeal: character-driven, gritty, intricately plotted, plot twists, fatalistic, fast-paced, flawed character, open-ended, urban, action-oriented, bleak, foreboding

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: gritty, character-driven, fast-paced

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Chandler, Raymond. The Simple Art of Murder. This collection of Chandler’s short story work is recommended for the non-fiction titular essay that leads off the collection, wherein Chandler describes the noir or hardboiled mystery and expectations, some which Aleas intentionally subverts.

Cody, Diablo. Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. Diablo Cody, writer of Juno, details a year in her life working as a stripper, including the seedy underbelly of the industry.

Hirsch, Foster. The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir. Readers of hardboiled mysteries tend to love noir, and this is the most well-known guide to film noir, detailing common character traits, recurring plot-threads, and the visuals that make film noir so distinctive.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Block, Lawrence. Grifter’s Game. oth are pulps, although Block’s focuses on the conman as lead character. Both contain fatalistic endings where the lead’s morality is put on trial, and the final pages leave the reader shocked.

Faust, Christa. Money Shot. Both are contemporary noir-pulp; Faust’s book has a female heroine caught in the world of pornography, Aleas’ male lead is entrenched in strip clubs. Both cases are extremely personal.

Hammett, Dashiel. The Maltese Falcon. Both are hardboiled mysteries where the lead character, in the course of a murder investigation, must temporarily have a truce with an apparent mob boss.

Name: Brian C.


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