The New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed standalones After I'm Gone, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.
Luisa "Lu" Brant is the newly elected - and first female - state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It's not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard County doesn't see many homicides.
As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man's life. Only 18, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?
The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one's times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present's standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn't want to.
©2016 Laura Lippman (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
I am or was a big Laura Lippmann fan and so I kept waiting for this book to get better. It never did. Narrators cooed and clucked, plot line dragged along the bottom of the lake and heroine made me dream of sending her to a Nancy Drew book.
Laura Lippman is one of my favorite contemporary authors and this story is a perfect example as to why. My only complaint is that while I prefer stories told in the first person, this story bounces back and forth between first and third person narrative. At first, I thought it was to differentiate between the timelines of Lu as a child and Lu as an adult, but as the book progressed, that didn't hold up. All in all, I still enjoyed the story. I might even say that this is the best one yet.
Engaging, entertaining, thought provoking
The plot was very engaging and drew me in from the first chapter. The interweaving of the past and present day led to a very powerful story.
The contrast between Lu in the past (1st person) and Lu in the present (3rd person) was stark and helped me keep up with the flow up the book as I was listening. I thought both performers were easy to understand and added a lot to the story.
Secrets of the past have a way of catching up with you
To Kill a Mockingbird. Well there was big brother,precocious little sister, and the neighbor kid in the bushes.And of course they had a widowed lawyer father that knew everything,for a while..( Several more similarities.) And they went forward living.
Scout had way more early grit than Little Lu but I suspect their lives were not all that different over time.
I don't know.
Enjoyed the narration.
The plot kept me on the edge of my seat because of how it was written. It lulls you into thinking it's just a sort of memoir or, but all the pieces come together to reveal mystery upon mystery...secret upon secret, lies upon lies.
As a MD resident, I always love listening to Lippmans books because she includes so many local references. The narrator must not be from the area, though, because many names were mispronounced. Such as Catonsville...(Long A sound)....but it wasn't too distracting.
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