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Saxton Reads! & Reviews

We invite the public to post reviews to our catalog by logging into our online catalog. Reviews will then be posted to this blog. Comments can be added to existing posts or may be added as separate reviews on our catalog
OCTOBER 26, 2008
What the Dead Know ~ Laura Lippman


What the Dead Know keeps popping up on all kinds of lists and has won several awards including the 2008 Anthony Award for best novel and the  2008 Macavity for best mystery novel. With accolades like this I decided I needed to read it for myself. Those of you who know me, would figure this one is right up my alley. It's a cold case about two sisters, Heather and Sunny Bethany, who went missing on an outing to a shopping mall over 30 years ago. Gone without a trace, the question becomes, how could someone kidnap two girls without anyone seeing anything. Fast forward to present day. Baltimore, Maryland, slick road conditions, a hit and run accident. The woman driver skids out of control, hits another vehicle, doesn't stop and takes the next exit, abandoning her car. She is picked up by police, disoriented and disheveled. She initially refuses to say who she is but in order to stay out of jail for her part in the hit and run she claims to be one of the missing Bethany sisters and fingers a cop as the perpetrator of the crime.

Though the plot was entertaining and perhaps, even a bit predictable, the story itself was not the main appeal of this book. It was clearly the writing style that has made me a fan of Laura Lippman. She knows her subject and ranks right up there with the big boys. The dialog is gritty and she knows her way around words, her characters real  the story is fast paced and could have been plucked from the headlines.I like the way the story unfolds, revealing things in layers. And, an added bonus, books are part of the character's lives. They read, they go to libraries for pleasure and research. Seems natural to me.
Lippman is the author of a series featuring Tess Monaghan and several standalone thrillers. One reviewer, though giving What the Dead Know, high marks, felt, Every Secret Thing is a better novel and more deserving of praise. Another to add to my TBR list.

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