by Laura Lippman
4 of 5 stars
And she does it again. Laura Lippman is so good at this!
I have grown to love Tess Monaghan. No matter what I thought the first couple times around, now I get it. I get her. I think she is an amazing character ... she is basically color blind while living in a tough city that has been shaped by race. She is tough, says what she means, totally walks the walk. Yet, she is somehow quite insecure also, I think. She cares what people think (some of them, mostly family); she still doesn't go against her authority figures in her family; she carries a gun yet I'm not sure I would trust her with it.
The story is filled with complex characters as always. It was a tiny convoluted in a few places, but the writing is so good I didn't feel thrown by it. The novel was written quite a while ago - 1998 - and I'm just thrilled that there are many Tess books to follow. I have not read them in order and so I do know that Tess grows up and gets to be a smarter private detective. Which is good because I do get frustrated at her naivety at times. I mean she blindly walks in to situations that have me surprised she's still around!
This book ended how I would have wanted. But no spoilers...suffice it to say, it was a fair ending although there were many deaths that I wish did not have to happen. I do question her basing the events on a loyalty that I just don't know is realistic. But it is also something I cannot judge because I've never been a foster child; never depending on my siblings for my life; never made promises based on a fear deep down in a place I literally probably don't have.
Lippman's characters are always so well described that I continue to picture them in my imagination. But so clearly that I feel like I know the beautiful African American woman in the classy, matching outfits; the gentleman in his one brown suit and Panama hat in hand. Great detail!
Laura Lippman is truly one of the best in her genre and I have not yet, not even once, been disappointed by her thrillers. I look forward to the next one!
"Laura Lippman's stories aren't just mysteries; they are deeply moving explorations of the human heart. She is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today." –Tess Gerritsen
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001.
Her work has been awarded the Edgar®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards.
She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade.
After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.
Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since. She is the daughter of the late Theo Lippman Jr., a Sun editorial writer who retired in 1995, and Madeline Mabry Lippman, a former Baltimore City school librarian. Her sister, Susan, is a local bookseller.
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