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Publisher's Summary

2020 Audie Awards® Finalist - Thriller/Suspense

The revered New York Times best-selling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman. 

In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know - everyone, that is, except Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she’s bolted from her marriage of almost 20 years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life. 

Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl - assistance that leads to a job at the city’s afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.

Cleo Sherwood was a young African-American woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie - and the dead woman herself. Maddie’s going to find the truth about Cleo’s life and death. Cleo’s ghost, privy to Maddie’s poking and prying, wants to be left alone. 

Maddie’s investigation brings her into contact with people who used to be on the periphery of her life - a jewelry store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people - including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.

©2019 Laura Lippman (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Lady in the Lake

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I wanted to love it...

I love Laura Lippman’s books especially her series and Sunburn was really good last year so I counted down the days until this was released but I just didn’t love it. I usually get through a new book I’m 3-4 days tops and this one took 7. I felt like I forced myself to listen.

16 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing

While written with great skill, this book invites no genuine interest in the protagonist. There are many characters, but because of this the book lacks an emotional core. The mystery itself turns out to be of little interest.

10 people found this helpful

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Different

The writing style was different but not bad. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives. didn't really care for the end but it was still a good book

5 people found this helpful

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The narration is EXCELLENT, but...

The author's notes at the end make it difficult to say I didn't love this book,
as does the truly outstanding narration , but the truth is., I was just so bored. It's definitely not a badly written book and I'm sure many will enjoy it it just wasn't interesting to me

14 people found this helpful

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More than just a mystery story

I grew up near and worked in Baltimore in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was fun to hear familiar names and places (Hochschild Kohn's, Hutxler’s, Druid Park, Fort Meade), although it made me realize that there were many communities I knew nothing about at the time. In part, that’s what the book is about - the different groups living side by side and only partly interacting when two deaths force them to. Lippman lets the voices of all the disparate people be heard. As a former copy editor for a small city newspaper, the difficulty women had in trying to insert themselves into serious journalism is also fascinating. Although Lippman couldn’t know that Trump was going to scurrilously denigrate Baltimore the week of the release date, her novel, which takes place in the 1960s, is a relevant response on the city’s behalf. Lippman’s Lady in the Lake works on so many levels beyond being a truly clever mystery.

11 people found this helpful

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Difficult to distinguish characters

From the performance, it was often difficult to distinguish between the different characters, to tell who was talking. This made the story hard to follow early on though it be a e clearer in the second half.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book!

I really loved this book. I liked the setting and the characters, all of it was good.

2 people found this helpful

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Found confusing due to narrator voice

The story was ok. I kept having to replay because if I left the story, I forgot where I was. The narrator’s voice was hard to follow from one character to the next, voice was very similar except for the one male character

1 person found this helpful

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Very confusing book to follow.

I had a hard time following along with the characters. It jumped from different points in time to different people talking.

1 person found this helpful

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Creative story telling, flawless performance!

This is the first novel I have heard by Laura Lippman. The story was intriguing (even if the ending was a tad anticlimactic), particularly the way she used various characters voices to make it unfold. The narrator was so fantastic with her subtle nuance of accents including the perfect drawl of a character who moved from West Virginia to Baltimore - how do you get that right! She was so great that I had to look her up and would you believe that she does the voice of Siri????

1 person found this helpful