Friday, November 28, 2008

REVIEW: What the Dead Know

Title: What the Dead Know
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN: 9780061128851/William Morrow
Protagonist: a woman claiming to be someone who disappeared thirty years ago
Setting: Baltimore, Maryland in 1975 and 2005
Rating: A

First Line: Her stomach clutched at the sight of the water tower hovering above the still, bare trees, a spaceship come to earth.

A woman loses control of her car, causes a wreck, and creates a stir among police when she claims to be Heather Bethany. In 1975, the two Bethany sisters disappeared from a Baltimore shopping mall and haven't been seen since. Is she...or isn't she...Heather Bethany? Detective Kevin Infante isn't the only one who wants to know.

This is a story told by many different voices and from several time frames. Far from confusing me, I enjoyed the differing perspectives, as each character had insight into various aspects of the mystery. The only thing that keeps me from giving this book a rave review is the ending. It felt like a bit of a letdown, and that wasn't due to the fact that I'd already guessed the truth. For some reason, I grew to expect something more than the quiet unwinding of the tension that had built up page by page. that I think about it, after thirty years the Bethanys deserve the quiet and the peace, don't they? It's quite easy for me to see why this book won so many awards at the last Boucheron!


  1. great book! this is one I read through the night (and uncomfortably in the hallway as to not disturb my sleeping partner).

  2. I am going to have to atop reading your blog! I find too many books I want.

  3. I saw this one in a bookstore this evening. Now I know why it was familiar. I was strong and left empty handed.


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