LONG GONE

“Most of the best things in life came to Alice organically.  Not because she asked.  Not because she looked.  Not because she forced.  They happened because she stumbled onto them.  The high-flying philosophical question of whether the pieces of her life fell into place through luck, randomness, fate, or unconscious intuition was way above her pay grade, but somehow things usually worked out for her”.

Across the river from Manhattan, in Dover, New Jersey, something very old is playing out with a new twist.  Becca Stevenson, the only child of a single mother, is the victim of the very old sport of bullying.  Bullying is entering a more murderous age in the era of the ubiquitous cell phone.  Text messages and camera phones can make life hell for someone not savvy enough to understand the rules, too naive to understand that there are no rules when the pack has chosen its prey.  When Becca disappears, her mother hopes she is a runaway.  For Joann Stevenson, running away from her home means her daughter can  run back to it when she’s ready.

Alafair Burke has written a book that should be mandatory reading for all parents of children between the ages of 10 and whatever age common sense establishes itself.  Whatever is posted on the internet is there forever.  There are no safeguards, no means by which someone can be sure that the wonderful job posting is real, no way of knowing if it is true or a lie. Bullying is entering a more murderous age in the era of the ubiquitous cell phone. Text messages and camera phones can make life hell for someone not savvy enough to understand the rules, too naive to understand that there are no rules when the pack has chosen its prey.

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2 Responses to LONG GONE

  1. Maxine says:

    Sounds good – a standalone I take it (I’ve read her legal series, and the first of her more recent NY cop series). Actually I think children and teens are much more internet-savvy than the older generation, based on my experience of them 😉

  2. Beth says:

    They are savvy in that they know how to work through the layers of information but they are still open to the lures predators cast to hook that one fish. College freshmen are some of the most vulnerable. Most are away from home for the first time and if they are having a difficult time finding a group with whom to fit in they are adults who look young enough to appear like students who know exactly what to offer that will appeal to each individual. Predators are extremely skilled in using the internet. They only have to convince one. I spent many years in high school. It is the conversations that I heard before the bell that are the important ones.

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