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And When She Was Good | [Laura Lippman]

And When She Was Good

Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who seldom attracts attention. In her suburb, she's just a mom, the young widow with the forgettable job, who somehow never misses a soccer game. In the state capital, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record. But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams - if you can afford the hourly fee. For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe, managing to keep up this rigidly compartmentalized life. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, an apparent suicide.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Mystery, 2013

Perennial New York Times and national best-selling author and acclaimed, multiple prizewinner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.

Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who seldom attracts attention. In her suburb, she's just a mom, the young widow with the forgettable job, who somehow never misses a soccer game. In the state capital, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record. But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams - if you can afford the hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe, managing to keep up this rigidly compartmentalized life. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, an apparent suicide. As 40 looms and her son enters adolescence, Heloise is facing a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know. With no formal education, no real family or friends, Heloise has to remake her life - again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick is living long enough to start a new life.

©2012 Laura Lippman (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

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3.8 (553 )
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  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 09-10-12
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fast forward is my friend"

    I probably missed the finer points at the end of this book. I listened to only the first few minutes and the last few minutes of the last 1/3 of the book. It became tiresome. I hate plot lines that only work if you accept the central stupidity of the main character; particularly when that character is painted as a sharp business woman. It is a shame because this author is capable of better.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brendanstallard 08-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A curious tale, slow and ponderously boring."

    This was a strange tale. It started out a bit of a feminist rant, which was going to get boring even if true. I don't come to Audible to be morally improved, but entertained. It failed almost utterly to entertain me, apart from the final encounter, which was diverting for a few moments.

    The rest is pretty sordid, as references to prostitution, "the life," tend to be. It is a nasty, brutal, usually short life. Men are pigs, yes they are.

    The book was factually incorrect in that it plays out that there is a lot of money to be made in prostitution. There is, but nowhere near the figures that Heloise seems able to extract from it. The working girls almost _never_ earn what they work.

    Weirdly enough, hearing Linda Emond's wonderful narration use the few cuss words within the text rather sounded like effluvium in a cathedral. Even Emond's talent could not bring the tale to life for me.

    While I agree with the conclusions that Lippman makes overall in the book, and her post book notes, the book wasn't worth the time it took to listen to it.

    I know some will be disappointed in that review, especially Lippman fans, but it was a 2, no more.



    brendan

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S new york, NY, United States 11-06-12
    S new york, NY, United States 11-06-12
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    "So-so story, so-so narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    A middle of the road story--interesting enough to listen to, but the main character was kind of too remote and unfeeling, so it made it difficult to feel invested in whether or not she was discovered to be a madame or would live through the end. It was also uneven in that, she was supposed to be so smart, yet kept getting caught up in these compromising positions with men who overpower her. She may come out of it on her own in the end, but it's more of another circumstance she found herself in than one she created for herself.

    The overarching storyline of her escort business and how she ran it, felt modern and was a little different than other books of this genre. I think that I would have felt more for her if she was married or seeking relationships outside of her business and her son. Though her son was supposed to be the central focus on her life, I didn't feel it in the writing. It was more just something that she said.

    The narrator was a little weird--kind of stiff and definitely contributed to the remoteness that you feel about the character. She also made men sound....dumb...?

    It wasn't so bad that I want my credit back....just wouldn't recommend to others.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 12-08-12
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 12-08-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh, she's good"

    I liked this book, but at times it was a little sad - as I realized that this probably someone's real story. Well written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 11-03-12
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 11-03-12 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

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    "Bard of Baltimore shines again!"

    Clever story -- sort of June Cleaver meets Xaviera Hollander, and right in Maryland! Linda Emond is a jewel. She takes Lippman's perfect prose to the level of high art. This is one winning combo, especially for those who remember Maryland in the '70s.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh 01-18-15
    Leigh 01-18-15 Member Since 2008

    My Addiction is Audiobooks!!!! I have an amazingly large audio library. I enjoy romance, mysteries and generally good book by great storytellers.

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    "Fantastic book!"

    Listened to this book twice...loved it both times. It is so worth your time and credit!!! Great narrator too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Daytona Beach, FL, United States 04-20-14
    Anne Daytona Beach, FL, United States 04-20-14 Member Since 2014

    Tyler

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    "forgetable"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I did listen to the entire book recently yet I can't recall much about it


    What was most disappointing about Laura Lippman’s story?

    lack of substance!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from And When She Was Good?

    my mind didn't engage enough to consider doing this


    Any additional comments?

    an average book, just nothing outstanding for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 10-29-13
    adrienne EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "A stressful lifestyle"

    Please read the publisher's summary.

    Once again Lauara Lippman has written a well thought out book. Her characters are believable and their interactions seem normal. However, there is much more going on behind the scenes. For Heloise, her well ordered life, preparations for any threat, protection of her son, and contact with persons from a previous life all seem to be under control. However, there are forces picking away at them. As she plans to transform her life and the threats become apparent, she must resolve all of the pieces.

    Linda Emond, as always, gives an excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KATHERINE KINGWOOD, TEXAS 10-09-13
    KATHERINE KINGWOOD, TEXAS 10-09-13 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself! An Audible member since 2006 and a voracious reader always.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ANEMIC PLOT...wait for it to go on sale"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A well-rounded plot that wasn't reaching for unconnected story lines. I passed the point of believeability in the first chapter.


    Has And When She Was Good turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Her voice simply did not match the subject matter


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from And When She Was Good?

    Heloise visiting Val in prison.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read and enjoyed other Laura Lipmann books, but for whatever reason, this one
    gave me a yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 06-14-13
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Lippman & Emond are one of the best combos!"

    I have listened to every Laura Lippman book on Audible. Truly, her writing and her characters are so very realistic. Add to that Linda Emond's totally perfect narration and it is a winning combination every time. I think the main character has a fascinating story to tell. I loved that a minor character from many other Lippman books makes a "cameo" appearance in this one.

    The only thing I want is for Laura Lippman to write faster. I can never get enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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