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The Lost Night

Review

The Lost Night

For the past 10 years, Lindsay has lived with the grief of her one-time best friend’s suicide at the age of 23.

Edie, the beautiful smart one who was envied by some and adored by most, was found dead with a gun in her hand in her Brooklyn loft in 2009. Though Lindsay has lost touch with most of her group of friends from that time, as the anniversary of the suicide approaches, she meets up with Sarah, one of Edie’s roommates. When Sarah mentions something about who was there that night, Lindsay remembers it completely differently, forcing her to acknowledge that her memory from that time is sketchy at best.

"Andrea Bartz has written a novel about how we each see the past through our own lens, but it is also about longing for that past youth, regardless of how painful it might have been."

Lindsay begins to investigate Edie’s death using skills she’s developed in her job as a magazine fact checker. As she sifts through the evidence, she realizes it was not suicide, but murder. Which of her friends and acquaintances had the motive and the means --- and where was she when it happened?

Debut author Andrea Bartz has written a novel about how we each see the past through our own lens, but it is also about longing for that past youth, regardless of how painful it might have been. Lindsay’s insecurities, jealousy and heavy drinking defined her back then --- and her current life is not much more inviting. At one point, she refers to her friends as “washed-up hipsters, histrionic and grown.” So her obsession with finding out the truth about Edie sometimes seems as if it offers the chance for a much-needed sense of purpose.

For the reader, wading through Lindsay’s obsessive and frequently awkward efforts to track down the truth behind Edie’s death can be tedious, especially as there’s little respite from her single-minded pursuit. Though the pace picks up at the end, readers may have lost patience with the story, and its protagonist, by then.

Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley on March 22, 2019

The Lost Night
by Andrea Bartz