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What the Dead Know | [Laura Lippman]

What the Dead Know

Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found, and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who or what could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters.
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Publisher's Summary

Thirty years ago, two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found, and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who or what could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been, why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead-end: a dying, incoherent man; a razed house; a missing grave; and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household.

In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?

©2007 Laura Lippman; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Edgar-winner Lippman...shows she's as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone." (Publishers Weekly)
"An uncommonly clever impostor story, so cagily constructed that it easily fulfills the genre's two basic demands. First, Ms. Lippman is able to keep her reader guessing about the main character's disputed identity until the very end of this book. Second, when the revelation comes, it makes perfect sense, and it has been hiding in plain sight. This is not one of those mysteries with a denouement that feels tacked on, half baked or pulled out of thin air." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (737 )
5 star
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3.8 (278 )
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4.0 (278 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sheri 09-07-12
    Sheri 09-07-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
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    129
    29
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    Performance
    Story
    "Kept in suspense until the last minutes!!"
    Where does What the Dead Know rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed this book because I simply could NOT guess the outcome of the story and just had to keep listening to get to the mystery solution!! A great escape read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 01-17-12
    Judy 01-17-12 Member Since 2011

    I have nearly 450K miles on my van and I listen to a LOT of audiobook! I'm a musician and I listen as I travel from concert to concert.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    29
    13
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    0
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    "Really Good Story; Bad Reader"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No I would not. The reader was terrible. She mispronounced words and sometimes even mixed up the voices of the characters, which made an already somewhat complicated plot even harder to understand. I would tell my friend to get the book instead.


    What other book might you compare What the Dead Know to and why?

    Can't really think of one off the top of my head. Perhaps the novels of Jeffrey Deaver...


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She mispronounced words, her male voices were awful, and she sometimes mixed up the voices of her characters...saying something in the voice of another character, which was quite confusing but if you listened well you could figure out what was going on. Bad, bad, bad.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I liked the denouement very much. The true story of what actually happened that day was very moving.


    Any additional comments?

    It's really too bad this reader was chosen for this book. It's exactly the kind of book I like to listen to, but her performance was so bad that I would not even want to listen to it again, although I may purchase the actual book for my daughter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Melbourne, FL, United States 08-28-11
    Kelly Melbourne, FL, United States 08-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Excellent story!"

    I am usually pretty great about guess the ending of murder or "mystery" novels, but I have to hand it to the author, Laura Lippman, I was totally surprised by this book. I enjoyed it very much and was happy it wasn't predictable. The characters were believable and the story was too. I will recommend this one to all my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Charlestown, IN, United States 04-28-11
    Brenda Charlestown, IN, United States 04-28-11 Member Since 2014

    Happiness is a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    86
    58
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    3
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    Overall
    "very good"

    Kept me guessing till the end and still I was surprised at the ending. It was very good. Its hard to like the main charachter but in the end it all comes together, very good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah Spokane, WA, USA 11-29-08
    Leah Spokane, WA, USA 11-29-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    1
    Overall
    "Even my Husband liked it"

    This was my first read by this author. Her writing was not only engaging, it was a well-written novel on par with most high-brow literature. Her characters are memorable and the plot lines are truly unique. I had no problem following the jumps through time. If anything it added more depth to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bkluver 08-22-08
    bkluver 08-22-08 Member Since 2008
    ratings
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    293
    1
    Overall
    "One of the best!!"

    This is a very entertaining book. It is exciting, suspensful, and has well-developed characters that I really cared about. The ending of this mystery of what really happened to two girls who "go missing" from a mall years earlier will be a surprise, I promise you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 04-04-08
    Amazon Customer United States 04-04-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    153
    5
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    Overall
    "poor choice"

    I found this book to be slow and uninteresting. The story would jump around to different characters and time periods which made it difficult to follow.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michel Downingtown, PA, USA 04-30-07
    Michel Downingtown, PA, USA 04-30-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Good enough"

    I enjoyed listening to it. It took some effort to keep track of all the characters, but the narrator did a good job. I had been predicting the ending since the first disk, but it was still pretty satisfying.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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