Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lost Souls” as Want to Read:
Lost Souls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lost Souls

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  318 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
With such novels as The Resurrectionists, Michael Collins has galvanized his reputation as a master of the literary thriller. In Lost Souls, he embarks upon his most ambitious project yet, offering a harrowing portrait of a stricken American community.

On Halloween night, a small midwestern town is traumatized by what appears to be a hit- and-run accident. But the mayor a

Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 27th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lost Souls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lost Souls

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 12, 2014 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-irlanda, e2

…1…2…3…acho que não me estou a esquecer de nenhum crime…
…Um enredo com um desenvolvimento “peixe espada” e uma resolução “insonsa”…
…Um policia “arrependido de ter nascido”...
…Um politico vendedor de automóveis (? – receio não ter entendido bem…)
…E mais umas quantas personagens que tanto podiam lá estar, como não…

Vou "arquivar" este livro com Os Guardiões da Verdade e precaver-me para não ler mais nada de Michael Collins…
Pauline von Dahl
Somehow the story didn't just work for me this time.
Oct 02, 2009 Shane rated it liked it
This book is a sad commentary on Mid-West small-town life, or at least, the author's view of it. Given that Michael Collins is an Irish emigre who has written some splendid Irish literature, I wondered whether he was out of his depth here or has as yet earned the write to write from the inside about this milieu?

Lawrence, the protagonist and narrator, is the most lost of the Lost Souls in this book, and the author takes a risk in having such a loser (with a heart) carry this story.

A four-year old
Dec 13, 2009 Gossymotto rated it liked it
I flipped this book open and read the first paragraph and it caught my attention. A cop, comes home after working the night shift on Halloween, his tree has been TP'd and the word PIG burned into his lawn with bleach. It's nothing out of the ordinary in his little town. The other thing that got me interested initially, was that the book was written in the first person. It's been a while since I have read a book written this way and it was somewhat refreshing.

The first few chapters were starting
Dec 16, 2012 Judi rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2004
f Mary Whipple were working on this review, she'd have sent me an e-mail by now warning me that this book is very bleak. But then, the book is titled “Lost Souls” so how could one expect it to be anything else? Certainly, not eventually hopeful as in a book called “The Resurrectionists.” Working with Mary I have learned that I have a propensity for the books she calls bleak. I seem to have a high tolerance for the foreboding, noir style that is usually more cynical than optimistic. But with Lost ...more
Pernille Aarseth
May 22, 2014 Pernille Aarseth rated it really liked it
Beautifully written! I love how the author has captured the feelings of depression, sadness and despair. I think It's a very unique book. Love it!
I give it 4,5/5 Stars.
I didnt read this, just made a mistake and did not know how to get it off my page....
May 26, 2008 Annet rated it liked it
Pretty fascinating crime/policical story. Nice writing also.
Feb 18, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Among the acts of petty vandalism and various teenage pranks played on Halloween night, a true tragedy is discovered. A local police officer finds the body of a little girl, dressed as an angel, concealed in a pile of autumn leaves. With the streets full of trick-or-treating children, it looks like she might have been the victim of a hit-and-run. But how did a three-year-old child come to be hiding there alone in the dark, dressed in her flimsy costume? And why were the child's feet bare?

As the
Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it really liked it
This is the way that books should be read - 40 pages on day 1, 90 on day 2 and 150 on day 3.

This is a bleak novel about small town american life and broken dreams.

A three year old girl is found run over, probably by the towns star quarter back just before a big game.

The investigating police officer is getting over divorce and the fact that he is not having access to his son, due to non payment of child support. He pulled a gun on his wife during their split and the mayor got him off and calls in
MB Taylor
Sep 10, 2011 MB Taylor rated it liked it
I finished reading Lost Souls last Thursday night. I read it primarily because I discovered it while organizing my backlog and while I was reading Poppy Z. Brite’s 1992 book of the same title. I’m not sorry I did; it’s an interesting book and quite a change of pace. Brite’s book is a Vampire horror novel where no one wins and Collins’ is a noir psychological thriller where no one wins. Hmmm, maybe they weren’t so different after all.

Lost Souls (Collins’) is about people who have lost their way.
Jul 27, 2016 Miranda rated it really liked it
I have to admit, my feelings toward Lost Souls are a bit complicated. I almost didn't post a recommendation for it because of the feelings the book stirred up in me. But then I realized that those feelings are most likely what the author, Michael Collins, was going for. Which makes this a very successful book indeed.

You might be wondering about what I mean when I say "the feelings" that were stirred up. To sum it up, this novel was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. Depending on what w
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda Patterson rated it it was ok
Michael Collins writes a police procedural set in the American Midwest. Why would an Irish author want to do this? Collins was short listed for the Booker in 2000. I’m betting that it wasn’t for a novel like this. Collins is known for writing 'literary' novels with solid narrative

This novel is billed as “The thinking man’s John Grisham” on the cover. This alone should have alerted me. When Grisham starts to think, I want to run.

Anyway, the body of a 3-year-old girl is found among a pile of leave
Aug 10, 2009 Tiana rated it liked it
I was skeptical of this book at first because I got this from the 4 for 10 dollar table at chapters and I had read one of the other books I picked up (INTERWORLD)and was dissapointed so I went into this not expecting much. However it turned out better than I thought.

It is about a hit-and-run murder of a girl on halloween in a rundown town full of damaged characters. Everyone's a little messed up in their own way. At first the story was very plot based, reminded me of the way da vinci code was to
Nov 07, 2012 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
It’s Hallowe’en night in a small Midwestern town and just as everyone is turning in for the night police officer Lawrence is called to investigate what looks like a hit and run accident. A little girl, still wearing the angel wings of her costume, has been discovered under a pile of a autumn leaves. As the investigation unfolds Lawrence is called in to the Mayor’s office and there, along with the Police Chief, asked to look the other way about certain pieces of evidence for the “good of our town ...more
27th May 2011

A somewhat depressing book and not really my cup of tea at all. It started out with the potential to be an excellent mystery but after the first few chapters it decended into the depressing description of the life of an unhappy recently divorced police officer. We are led through the maze of his complicated relationships and money troubles, the sad demise of his dog, his downward spiral into depression and loss of respct in the local community. To say the least he is unlucky but I
Sep 02, 2012 Melani rated it it was ok
This is definitely not the best Collins has to offer. Most of the plot was predictable, and when it did surprise it was because the event was implausible (i.e., the character Collins designed would probably not have done what was attributed to him/her). [Can you tell how hard I'm trying not to write a spoiler?] Also, there was something distracting about the disproportional portrayals of the characters. (e.g., We were given exhaustive descriptions of the mayor and the ex-wife's new husband, yet ...more
Paul Secor
Mar 25, 2013 Paul Secor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This may be an honest book in some ways. I've never lived in the Indiana rust belt, so I don't know about that.

I do know that this was the most depressing book I've ever read. All the while I was reading it, I kept asking - If this is what life is like, why live? Even Mr. Collins trying to tie up things neatly (and falsely, imo) in the last couple of chapters didn't help things.

I couldn't wait to get this book out of my house and back to the library. I even tossed out the bookmark I used while r
Teresa Amor
Jan 15, 2016 Teresa Amor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me tell you...The reading is easy and it's also nicely to keep up with the story. The problem, for me, was that this piece doesn't responde to the misteries that the character face during the all book. And i can't deal with it. And on top, it is so little action, you just feel like: when will this end, cus i'm bored. Good in details, and those are of easily visualisation but sad and poor story. I pitty the dog.
Luce Cronin
Mar 19, 2016 Luce Cronin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and I can understand why. So well written, and the suspense is so engaging that i had trouble putting it down. The Guardian newspaper out of London said " A mood , an atmosphere, a sombre snapshot of a society that has been driven to a dark place by greed and pain". And that just gives you an eye-opener to this very intense tale.
May 21, 2013 Gabrielle rated it it was ok
On Halloween night the police found a little girl who had been run over. Later they find a girl who supposedly killed her self but, they later discovered that it was a homicide. The book was easy and was a really short book. However I just thought its just about all the same as the other crime books I have read.
Janne Paananen
Feb 22, 2011 Janne Paananen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm... Coenin veljekset saisivat tästä hienon elokuvan! Kirjan fiilistä voisi kuvailla vaikka silleen, että laitetaan Rankka päivä -leffan päähenkilö Fargoon ja katsotaan mitä saadaan aikaiseksi. Inhimillisiä, hyvin rikkinäisiä elämiä.

Kirjaa lukiessa ei todellakaan tiennyt, mitä seuraavan nurkan takana odottaa!
Oct 06, 2008 Deanna rated it did not like it
I tried, but I didn't really like this one. It was too slow, and...I dunno, I want to say depressing, but that doesn't seem right. It was slightly boring, and many times I thought about quitting, but stuck it out till the end just to see what happened. I was hoping it would redeem itself and I'd be happy I stuck it out, but that's not the case.
Zézinha Rosado
Um livro que tem uma escrita um pouco "depressiva", especialmente em relação à personagem principal, o detective Lawrence, mas cuja história no final dá uma reviravolta tão interessante que vale mesmo a pena lê-lo até ao fim.
Apr 04, 2012 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and very dark novel set in small town America. The lead character was very down and this came across fully in this novel. Not a bad paced plot and storyline which certainly did enough to keep the reader interested.
May 16, 2011 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent entry in neo-noir that I thought was veering toward The Killer Inside Me territory, which seemed a bit derivative but interestingly so, but the final resolution was more mainstream. Certainly well written and it kept my interest throughout.
Donna L.
Mar 14, 2009 Donna L. rated it did not like it
I thought this was a depressing book. I got really tired trying to follow a story which turned out to be mostly about a depressed, divorced cop rather than the supposed plot of the story. The plot and ending were very predictable.
Nov 05, 2008 Corinna rated it liked it
Pretty sure I'd read this before but went ahead and re-read it. Book amnesia comes in handy sometimes. Decent page-turner.
Todd Monsell
Jun 29, 2016 Todd Monsell rated it liked it
Bleak but highly readable tale about a fallen cop and husband dealing with murder in a dead end Midwestern town in the 80s.
Just starting this one.Not going to finish it either. Can't get into it for some reason. Don't like the writing style I guess, or story, or something.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Unholy Fire
  • Bloodprint
  • A Room For The Dead
  • Temporary Sanity (Marty Nickerson, #2)
  • The Art of Seeing
  • My Beloved Son
  • The Devil's Hunt (Hugh Corbett, #10)
  • The Uncanny
  • Storyville
  • So Far...
  • Salt of the Earth
  • The Way We Were
  • Elsewhere
  • Evidence Of Blood
  • Deadly Appraisal (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery, #2)
  • Mrs. Jeffries on the Ball (Mrs. Jeffries, #5)
  • The Magdalena Curse
  • Miami, It's Murder (Britt Montero, #2)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
(1)Irish Novelist

Michael Collins was born in 1964. He was educated in Belfast, Dublin and Chicago. His short stories have been awarded the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Award in Ireland and the Pushcart Prize in America.
More about Michael Collins...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »