cover image Gone Missing in Harlem

Gone Missing in Harlem

Karla FC Holloway. TriQuarterly, $18.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 978-0-8101-4353-1

The 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping provides the backdrop for a less sensational kidnapping in Holloway’s superior sequel to 2019’s A Death in Harlem. Selma Mosby parks her infant daughter, Chloe, just outside a Harlem grocery store as she goes inside to pay for some fruit. To Selma’s horror, when she returns a few moments later, Chloe’s gone. An unidentified 30-year-old pockmarked white man wearing horn-rimmed glasses was seen watching the store’s exterior just before the disappearance. Flashbacks reveal that this person, identified only as Boss, is a numbers runner who employs Black boys in Harlem to collect cash for him, including Selma’s brother. Holloway gradually reveals why Boss was on the scene at the time Chloe vanished. The search of Weldon Thomas, the neighborhood’s first Black policeman, for the truth behind the abduction packs an emotional punch, as does the larger sociological picture of the disparate treatment and attention given to a missing child of color, in contrast to the national outcry about Charles Lindbergh Jr. This works both as a page-turner and a portrait of a vanished era. (Apr.)