‘The Lost Boys’ Book Club Guide
“Some individuals vanished by accident: a wrong turn on a hiking trail or a rogue wave that hit while sailing…. Sometimes lives evaporated by wicked intent—a pickup gone awry or a motorist meeting the wrong type of help. Sometimes souls perished in seemingly innocuous encounters that went terribly wrong….
But sometimes people disappeared because they wanted to.” —The Lost Boys
Best-selling crime novelist Faye Kellerman’s 26th foray into her popular Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus mystery series, The Lost Boys balances thrilling twists and turns with modern family life and Jewish values. The novel finds the famously observant Jewish Detective Peter Decker investigating two missing-persons cases while he and his wife, Rina Lazarus, cope with disruptions caused by the sudden appearance of the biological mother of their foster son, Gabe. Join Hadassah Magazine Executive Editor Lisa Hostein on February 10 at 7 p.m. EST for a live online discussion with the author. Register here for the event.
Local book groups are a vital part of Hadassah for many members. If your chapter doesn’t already have a book group, now’s the time to start one! We encourage groups to have their own discussions about The Lost Boys after the interview. To facilitate those discussions, we are happy to present the following discussion guide to distribute to your book groups.
- The Lost Boys opens with a missing-persons case. Bertram Lanz, a 35-year-old with cerebral palsy, has disappeared while on a field trip with his residential home. Discuss Peter Decker’s changing perceptions of Bertram as he learns more about him. What do you think about his initial assumptions of Bertram’s disappearance?
- What do you think about the two residential facilities and their administrators? Were reactions to the disappearances of two of their residents believable? Discuss Tyler McAdam’s interactions with the residents.
- Bertram isn’t the only character who upends expectations. Discuss how some of the major and side characters, from Tyler to Stella, manager of the shooting range, both align with and/or defy stereotypes.
- What clues did the author plant along the way to the resolution of the cold case? Did you guess the ending? If so, when?
- Did the book include any red herrings to purposely lead readers astray in both the missing-persons and cold cases? If so, were you tripped up?
- How does Kellerman frame the various parental interactions with grown children in The Lost Boys? Compare and contrast the relationships between Gabe and Terry and Gabe and Rina, as well as the relationships between Bertram and his parents and Kathrine and her parents.
- Peter and Tyler interview the mothers of the three missing boys from the cold case. What do you think of the mothers’ descriptions of their sons, and how does it compare to the information unearthed about the young men?
- Terry, Gabe’s biological mother, has come to the United States to ask something of Gabe. What do you think about her request? Discuss Gabe’s reaction to her request.
- The loving relationship between Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker is a thread that runs through Kellerman’s popular crime series. For long-time fans: How have Peter and Rina’s relationship and interactions changed and developed as the couple has aged? How have they remained the same? For newcomers: How would you characterize Peter and Rina’s marriage? How would you describe Rina’s contributions to Peter’s cases?
- That Peter and Rina are Orthodox Jews is another series mainstay. How does Kellerman, herself a Modern Orthodox Jew, reference traditional Jewish observance in The Lost Boys? What Jewish values do you find in this novel?