Friday, November 27, 2009

Book Review: "What the Dead Know" by Laura Lippman

It's 1975. The Bethany sisters, 15-year-old Sunny and 11-year-old Heather, head to the Baltimore-area Security Square Mall one Saturday. And they're never seen again. Apart from the usual crank calls and shakedowns, no information is ever found about what happened to the Bethany sisters, leaving their parents at a great loss.

Years later, a woman is involved in a car accident on a Baltimore highway. Disoriented, she flees the scene of the accident, only to be caught by a policeman. And then she claims to be Heather Bethany. But she doesn't want to have to go to jail for the accident, nor does she want to have to tell her story to the media.

This book was a really gripping read. There were so many twists and turns I really didn't know what was going to happen, and I certainly didn't expect what did. Laura Lippman created some fantastic characters and a very compelling story, so even when I found myself confused—or when the multiple narrators and the flashbacks slowed the story down a bit—I definitely wanted to keep reading. I felt she captured the anguish, ambiguity and frustration that parents of missing children feel, along with guilt at wanting to get on with their lives.

I'd always heard good things about Laura Lippman's books, so I'll definitely try another.

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