Book Review

by Laura Lippman

Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction

2010 Mainstream Fiction Nominee

RT Rating

Lippman, known for her Tess Monaghan mysteries, has ventured into deeper waters with stand-alone novels such as The Power of Three, What the Dead Know and now this fantastic and fascinating read. Although there is some mystery involved — why is Walter contacting Eliza, what does he want? — the main power and force of the novel lies in the knowing portraits of characters, both primary and secondary. Lippman also skillfully and subtly shows the quiet devastation that reverberates after a kidnapping. You’ll be thinking of each person’s motivations long after you finish the book.

Eliza Benedict, mother of two and suburban housewife, has successfully built a normal life after her abduction in 1986 by Walter Bowman, a serial killer who held her hostage for six weeks. But Walter reaches out to her from death row, where he’s finally scheduled to be executed. Does he want forgiveness? Will he tell Eliza why he let her live when his other victims were not so fortunate? While Eliza dances warily with her long-ago captor, she also struggles with the everyday ups and downs of family life. (MORROW, Aug., 384 pp., $25.99)

Reviewed By: Liz French

Publisher: MORROW

Published: August 2010

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