What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Kay came to realize that she preferred her books to other people’s company. Reading was not a fallback position for her but an ideal state of being. At home she had to be hyperconscious not to use books to retreat from her own children.

Continuing my Tournament of Books 2007 book binge, I finished Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know in double-quick time. I guiltily admit that I retreated into the book, and away from my kids, a few times. The premise is a grabber, and the storytelling delivers nicely. A woman flees the scene of a car accident. When she’s picked up by police, she has no ID, and claims to be one of two sisters who disappeared from a Baltimore mall thirty years ago in a famous abduction.

Lippman’s writing is tight. She switches back and forth in time and among characters so deftly that she makes it look easy. The mystery unfolds at a steady pace, with just enough revealed along the way to lead to the very satisfying conclusion.

Lippman is a former news reporter from Baltimore, and has a successful and well reviewed mystery series. This is a standalone novel, and a thumping good read that’s also well written. Highly recommended.

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