The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author returns with a new stand-alone novel—a powerful and utterly riveting tale that skillfully moves between past and present to explore the lasting effects of crime on a victim's life....I'd Know You Anywhere
Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, 13-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquility is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects—or wants—to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.
In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her—and share the truth about his other victims.
Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do anything to protect it—even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.
©2010 Laura Lippman (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Yes. Lippman creates several character studies of Eliza/Elizabeth the victim kept alive; Walter the serial killer; Barbara the activist; and victim, Holly's mother. The story vascillates between present day Walter awaiting death sentence and Eliza's current happy world with the past relationship between the two. What I enjoyed most was the detailed, yet ambiguous nature of the characters. Lippman is not preachy and she leaves you pondering your own values and beliefs on this difficult subject. Well written and enjoyable.
Yes, but have other books I will read first.
No, the story was tied up neatly.
Like the previous reviewer, at first I couldn't understand why the victim would agree to talk to, let alone see, the kidnapper. But as the story unfolded, I found her reasons compelling and I probably would have done the same thing. A better explanation would be a spoiler as its one of the threads that keep you guessing. A great read that leaves you with something to think about. I highly recommend to all mystery lovers.
This is very good book! It reminds me of "The Time Traveler's Wife", it's written in the same time jumping style. The smooth talking and ease of accents make me feel like there should be a classical masterpeice playing in the background of a horror movie. I feel like this could be true, I feel like I could know this main character and her family.
This book was a wonderfully-written exploration into the respective minds of a crime victim on the one hand, and her kidnapper on the other. Lippman opened up my awareness of the various influences that lead a person ultimately to death row. While I could not exactly identify with the protagonist's motivation to pursue the continuing relationship with her kidnapper, I was able to suspend disbelief and enjoyed the depth and nuanced characterization of the book. Characters were well-drawn and definitely not stereotypes.
I really enjoyed the narration of this book. Some others had complained about the main character talking about her home and family too much, but I felt that was part of the story. It was an engaging story and I was very engrossed in the tale.
Until the end. To me, it seemed as if the author ran out of time and just needed to finish the book...too may story lines were left hanging, and others were closed, but not in any satisfying way. I started to wonder if I'd forgotten to download a part when there was only 30 minutes left and so much left to deal with.
It was entertaining while it lasted, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Frustration that none of the characters behaved with sense or honor. Wanted to go through the iPod and slap them.
Main character is an emotionless victim manipulated by an obvious sociopath who is befrended by a delusional prisoner advocate and represented by a stuptefyingly naive attorney. Throw in the embittered mother of another victim stalking the main character and a husband who is totally ok with his wife installing a dedicated phone line to allow phone calls from death row to their home - REALLY??? No one in this scenario inspired me to root for them. Tied up at the end with an unbelievable flash of self awareness making everything ok, and suddenly all's right with the world. Right.
Say something about yourself!
Not a mystery--nor a thriller--rather a dull and tedious story (that somehow escaped becoming a made for TV Lifetime Channel movie) that plods along at a snail's pace to a predictable and banal ending. Most of the book details the day to day routines of a bland limp housewife, who seems to be suffering from a terminal case of flat affect. The characters are vapid and undeveloped; so much so that you don't root for the "victim" or boo the lowlife villain--you just don't care. I'd apologize for the harsh review, but this was highly recommended, and from an author that has won several awards for her writing--disappointing.
Fast approaching retirement as a life long oncology nurse. I love family more than anything. I enjoy reading (audio only), movies, travels, paper crafting, photography, gardening and just being alive.
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. Well written and well read. Heavy topic but handled with respect. Definitely would recommend it.
One of the best books I have listened to. The balance between the present and past was perfect. Believable.
The ambiguity of everything. The crime in the eyes of the world, the family, the victim, the criminal. And the suspense as all is revealed. Brilliant fiction with realism and a powerful puzzle at its heart. And the evolution of the heroine's character from the point of view of the reader is fascinating. Why her character, which is not entirely admirable from the standard point of view, my point of view, helped her survive.
She's simply a great reader. Not too too dramatic and not dead. Just great.
What is the nature of guilt? Nahhh, no high concept movie would work with that tag line.
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