Saturday, December 8, 2007

What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman

This book is the first I've read from this award-winning author, and I can see why her writing's been honored. Even though the clues to the mystery woman's identity are pretty clear early on, Lippman still manages to drive the plot so as to keep the reader second-guessing herself throughout the remainder of the story.

Lippman also writes family dynamics very well. Her treatment reminds me of Caroline Cooney's Janie series; the criminal, tragic disruption of the Bethany family accelerates the cracking of their happy facade. One has to wonder how any family can survive a blow such as this.

I think the only less-than-fully-believeable aspect of the story (however crucial it was to the plot) was the Dunham family conspiracy. Even given the father's past career (or perhaps especially because of it), I find it difficult to buy into the great lengths to help the protagonist. I also find it amusing that she thought of her new family as normal.

Overall, I found this to be a good read, and a quick one. I'll definitely keep an eye out for more titles by Lippman.

Disclosure: I received this book from Harper Collins in exchange for a review.

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