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Little Boy Lost


Little Boy Lost

St. Louis attorney Justin Glass has been struggling. Since the loss of his wife to cancer, he has battled depression and loneliness, all the while trying to function as a single dad. Living in the guest quarters behind his grandfather’s house and relying on others for help with his daughter, Justin is far from living up to the promise he showed as a young man of two powerful legal and political families. The arrival of a young girl at his run-down office, eight-year-old Tanisha Walker, asking for help finding her missing teenage brother brings Justin out of his fog of sorrow. Reluctantly at first, and then with a positive energy, he starts an investigation into the whereabouts of Devon Walker.

J. D. Trafford’s latest, LITTLE BOY LOST, is the absorbing story of Justin’s search for justice for a group of murdered young African American men and an account of his own redemption.

"Trafford’s writing style is brisk and no-nonsense with a dash of introspection and a lot of keen observations (sort of like Justin himself)."

Justin, while down on his luck, is quite well connected. The son of an influential civil rights activist turned Missouri congressman, the brother of an ambitious young senator, and the grandson of a well-respected retired judge, at one time he believed that politics was the right path for him as well. Having moved himself away from political intentions, the connections were still intact. Justin calls a detective friend for help finding Devon, and what the two uncover is a mass burial ground of a number of St. Louis’s hardest juvenile offenders, many of whom had gone missing with little investigation from law enforcement or the criminal justice system. They are quickly dubbed the Lost Boys. This gruesome discovery brings to the surface much of the present and historic racial tensions in the city, and Justin finds himself at the center.

As the search for the killer intensifies, Justin learns that his daughter, Sammy, has been facing her own challenges. Still reeling from the death of her mother, she has been severely bullied at school. The bullying culminates with a violent attack, and Justin knows that in the midst of the Lost Boys chaos, Sammy is his priority. To add yet another layer of complication, Justin’s father and brother have all but publically announced his candidacy for Congress, a job Justin is fairly certain he doesn’t really want.

LITTLE BOY LOST is an exciting and thoughtful read. Justin Glass is a study in contrasts, which makes him interesting to read about. Trafford does a good job of making sure his protagonist isn’t wildly heroic. The requisite plot twists are not always surprising, but the author makes them work. He even gives Justin a sidekick of sorts, in a super smart lawyer turned paralegal named Emma, who singlehandedly gets his law practice on track. Trafford’s writing style is brisk and no-nonsense with a dash of introspection and a lot of keen observations (sort of like Justin himself). LITTLE BOY LOST tackles some important and tough issues head on, and with the recent Missouri travel warning issued by the NAACP, it is a timely novel as well.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on August 11, 2017

Little Boy Lost
by J. D. Trafford

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
  • ISBN-10: 1503943941
  • ISBN-13: 9781503943940