Book Review

LIFE SENTENCES
by Laura Lippman

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Suspense

RT Rating

Once again Lippman delivers a deft, character-driven mystery involving decades-old secrets and the disappearance of a child, as she did with her 2007 multi-award-winner, What the Dead Know. But she's equally concerned with the mysteries of childhood and memory, and it's her female characters' struggles to expunge their problematic pasts that really drive the plot.

Bestselling memoirist Cassandra Fallows returns to Baltimore with plans for her next book -- to tell the story of a former elementary-school classmate, Callie Jenkins, who spent seven years behind bars when her baby son went missing and refused to tell anyone what happened to him.

Race becomes an issue for Cassandra, who was the only white girl in a quartet of friends 40 years ago. Like Donna, Tisha and Fatima, Callie is black, and as resentments simmer, Cassandra finds herself stonewalled by her former pals, who may have reasons for wanting to keep some truths hidden. (MORROW, Mar., 352 pp., $24.99)

Reviewed By: Diane Snyder

Publisher: MORROW

Published: March 2009

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