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
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.
I felt this book lost momentum at the end, but other than that I enjoyed it. I'm impressed with the author's ability to create fully-fleshed-out characters; she does a better job of it than certain other authors who are selling a lot more books. Still, while the ending wasn't bad or disappointing, it didn't seem to have the same quality of development as the rest of the book. It just sort of . . . ended, but it would have been far more satisfying had it been a bit more dramatic. After all, there's quite a bit of drama in this book. It's a good read and I recommend it, but a more compelling ending would have made it a much better book.
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.
Perfect novel, Perfect narration. It's not Tess Monaghan -- but terrffic character study of a victim and her kidnapper -- how they came together, and how the rest of their lives were changed by a few weeks.
Laura Lippman has a sharp writing style (probably her newspaper skills) but also is able to create full bodied heroes masked as ordinary folks. And -- unlike her fellow Baltimore scribe (Ann Tyler), Lippman provides enough action & plot to keep her stories more than just character studies.
I really liked this tale, and I found every scene and character convincing. People around extraordinary events do some weird things, so I didn't find anything here more disturbing than a rape or murder story generally are.
I thought the narrator was about as good as narrators get. Smooth, silky voice that massages the ears very nicely. Her tiny change of voice from character to character was convincing and accurate.
I liked the ending, well drawn that. Not many writers can adequately finish up their work these days, Lippman does it perfectly. All the ends tied up neatly, and satisfactory conclusions.
Buried secrets are harshly exposed in Laura Lippman’s I’d Know You Anywhere. The fast paced novel opens with the narrator Eliza awaiting the execution of her former captor, Walter. The story then alternates between modern day and 1985, the year Eliza was abducted. Since the kidnapping, Eliza has tried to disappear and start over. But Walter has managed to find her and pull her back into his twisted world.
Creepy on so many levels, the novel manages to separate itself from other formulaic thrillers. Lippman’s heroine is constantly hinting there may be more to the summer then we or she knows. And the few incorporated first person passages told by the decidedly menacing are unshakably gruesome. Lippman also presents the perspectives from Walter’s enemies and advocates thereby increasing the novels intensity and keeping the reader guessing and theorizing up until its final pages. Both memorable and frightening this novel well deserves its place on 2010 best of lists.
I was expecting a thriller, but this is more a story about how people's lives are affected by murder. That said, it was extremely compelling; I simply had to know what happened at the end. The characters were well-rounded, the pacing and suspense were well-measured, and I look forward to reading and listening to more by this author.
The story hooks you in and slowly untangles the mystery. It's well written in the same way the Lovely Bones was- strong characters, but not morbid and gruesome. A good listen and very well narrated.
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I am definitely interested in reading another. I thought about the bad reviews below, and I have to disagree, mostly. I generally don't like "chick flicks", or books that would fit that description. I am a woman, by the way. However, I might have to concede that this book would be somewhat more to the liking of women. There is no real mystery or suspense. There are no lurid details of the crimes. However, I was interested in how it ended because of the character development. I also loved the reader.
This is the first Laura Lipman booked that I've read. I enjoyed her character development, and her ability to blend the past with the present as she tells her story. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
I've been a Laura Lippman fan for several years. It seems we both grew up in the same general area of Baltimore County, MD and I enjoy the familiar places she referances. This is by far her best work, if the criminal mind of a killer and understanding the impact on the victim and their family interests you, it will definitely be worth the credit.
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