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Every Secret Thing

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  8,537 Ratings  ·  790 Reviews
Alice and Ronnie, aged 11, are on their way home in disgrace after Ronnie has hit their hostess, when they see a baby stroller with a baby girl sleeping in it, left without anyone nearby on the top steps of a house. They take the child to look after it, and four days later the child is found dead by a young detective policewoman. The girls are arrested, found guilty and in ...more
Kindle Edition, reprint, 432 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by William Morrow (first published September 2nd 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lukasz Pruski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
“The past was worth remembering and knowing in its own right. It was not behind us, never truly behind us, but under us, holding us up, a foundation for all that was to come and everything that had ever been.”

----Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman, an American award-winning NY Times best-selling author, has penned an incredibly nail-biting as well as edgy thriller, Every Secret Thing , that was published in the year 2004 and that has won quite a lot of literary awards. The story revolves around two l
Lewis Weinstein
This is a hard book to read, but not because it isn't written superbly. The difficulty is that there isn't a pleasant character, deed, or thought from page one to the end. No joy. The complex story unfolds bit by bit, grudgingly revealed under Lippman's very capable control. I guess you have to decide, at the end when all is known, who you feel the most sorry for. But as soon as you start to feel bad for someone, you have second thoughts. Nobody deserves sympathy. At least nobody who's still ali ...more
May 15, 2009 Francine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for a good mystery, but this book didn't do the trick. The last 50 or so pages were like "Oh, and I forgot to mention THIS" and "I left out this part." Sort of like listening to a friend tell a story and then patching on the details after it ended. Too bad, because Laura Lippman has written a lot of books, but after my first read, I don't think I'll pick up another one. Oh, I forgot to mention that I left out this one part...
Mar 19, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Laura Lippman is another author recommended to me after my recent Gillian Flynn binge. She has a weighty volume of work to choose from, but I was drawn to the description of Every Secret Thing for my first .

11 year olds Ronnie and Alice are neighborhood friends unexpectedly -- and perhaps unjustly -- banished from a classmate's birthday party at the community pool. In their short walk home, a shocking crime will change both girls' lives forever. The story picks up seven years later, when both R
Mar 22, 2013 Selena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Review contains spoilers.

Oh this book...where to start. I do think Laura Lippman is a great writer, but there were things about this book that annoyed me. One was the whole Alice is fat thing. Okay, we get that she is overweight. Does it need to be mentioned almost every time she appears. "Oh, Alice is fat!" "There's fat Alice again." Even when she is thinking about herself, it was included more often than not how fat she is. The one time her weight is mentioned it was something like, "She looke
Anthea Carson
Reading this felt sort of like getting a root canal. No, getting a root canal was easier. There were so many random details thrown in about irrelevant characters that I literally got a headache. And they weren't interesting details either, just minutia, like where they ate lunch, where they shopped, or what type of books the usually checked out at the library. And the details weren't related to the mystery either, just random.

The mystery involves the murder of a baby by two twelve year old girl
Aug 26, 2015 Sarah marked it as d-n-f  ·  review of another edition
DNF @40%.

No, I couldn't finish this. It was painful to read. It bored me and there were so many unnecessary details in this book. I didn't like anything about this book. If I did finish it, I would probably have given it a 1 star rating. I did read a recap of the whole novel and I pretty much predicted the ending anyway.

I wouldn't recommend it and I don't think I will read anything else by Laura Lippman anytime soon.
Apr 22, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wo little girls are banished from a birthday party after one of them uses the "n" word. As they wander home, they come across a baby in a coach seemingly abandoned on a city street. They take the baby back to their own "secret place" and one of them kills the baby. Seven years later they are both 18 and released from juvenile detention. Not long after baby girls disappear and reappear all over the area - until one disappears and is not returned. This was probably the most chilling book by Lippma ...more
I love how Lippman toys with your perceptions as the novel winds on - just when you think you've decided how you feel about a character, she feeds you another piece of information that forces you to reevaluate. That she can do this without the new events and circumstances seeming out of place or manipulative is a testament to her skill and talent. This one would make a great book club pick for the challenges Lippman makes to the reader.
Sep 20, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2011 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
One summer day, two eleven-year-old girls are "kicked out" of a pool party because of something one of them did. "Good girl" Alice Manning and "bad girl" Ronnie Fuller start off for home, but along the way, they see an unattended baby carriage. Somehow they end up taking the carriage, to "save" the child, but something goes horribly wrong. A few days later, the baby is found dead. Both girls, as juveniles, are given seven years in detention facilities. Upon their eighteenth birthdays, they are r ...more
I recently saw the film adaptation of this book, a wonderfully subtle socially aware crime film that suffers with a terrible postscript that nevertheless I rated as my favourite film of 2015 so far, without that movie I would never have dipped my toes in to the populist thriller waters that Laura Lippman's fiction resides in, in my mind at least. Whilst I respect her subtle way of writing a popular novel with a cast of characters that doesn't include one white male the subtlety ends there unlike ...more
Dec 08, 2016 Marla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
As an audiobook this was very slow going but then the shocking reveals at the end made it worth the investment. There are some twisted people out there. Yes, this was fiction but you know there are unbalanced people out there who would do things like kill a child and then cover it up.
Dec 30, 2013 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This was my first Laura Lippman book, and even though I only gave it a rating of 2 stars, I would still give another book a chance. This was just ok, though. Writing was good but I thought there was a lot of unnecessary information about some of the characters, which put me off a little.
Початок цього роману цілком симпатичний, бо хто ж із нас не любить напряжних психологічних трилерів про дитячу жорстокість? Зав'язка така: двоє одинадцятирічних дівчаток викрадають немовля (бо воно було в ту мить саме, тож взяли, коротше, ляльку погратися, виправдовуючись тим, що про дитину все одно, мовляв, не дбають), потім повертати його вже стрьомно, потім все закінчується смертю немовляти. Промотуємо на сім років уперед: дівчата відбули свій термін ув'язнення й виходять на свободу, і тоді в ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really in the mood for a mystery, and the synopsis of this one really appealed to me.

This book is about two girls, Ronnie and Alice, who committed an unspeakable crime when they were 11 years old. Their actions resulted in the death of a toddler and they were both sentenced to time in juvie. Seven years have passed and they have been released from their respective juvenile detention centers at the start of the novel. A short time later, a 3-year-old girl goes missing.

To say much more would
Jun 01, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Anyway, Laura Lippman, aside from writing the Tess Monaghan series, writes standalone crime novels. Good ones. More "novels about crime" than "crime novels," because they're not just straight police procedurals (not that there's anything wrong with that). They contain realistic, fully developed characters as well as incredibly well constructed plots. "Every Secret Thing" is about two girls who get out of juvie after spending seven years there for killing a baby when they were 11 -- what can they ...more
Jun 26, 2012 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time reading Laura Lippman but won't be the last. Every Secret Thing was excellent; I couldn't put it down and finished late into the morning. She steps outside her Tess Monaghan series to deliver a haunting mystery of two childhood friends who through a freak coincidence are stigmatized for life.The setting is Baltimore on a hot July afternoon at a children's birthday party. Ronnie, the one who was only invited because she lived near Alice, was the last girl to have her present opened. Th ...more
Cathryn Ferrara
Feb 21, 2013 Cathryn Ferrara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Shocking and well put together would best describe Every Secret Thing. Once I started I could not put it down.

When Alice and Ronnie were 11 years old, a baby was taken from a front porch and four days later that baby was found dead. Seven years have past and the girls are released from their juvenile facilities and are meant to get on with their lives, but not everyone wants that for them and not everything is quiet what it appears. Then another little girl is taken and the quick assumption is
Jun 06, 2011 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, general_mystery
This was Laura Lippman’s first stand-alone mystery, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a slow-building, sneaky mystery. We know from the start that something terrible happens to baby Olivia Barnes and that Alice and Ronnie were responsible, but the details leak out slowly, drip by drip. The best part of the book is that you’re never quite sure whose side you should be on. Is Alice as innocent as she seemed? Is Ronnie the sociopath she first seemed to be? What did Alice’s mother have to do with it? W ...more
totally underwhelming. there was way to much "crap" to sift though - unnecessary story lines (Mira the reporter) that dragged the story down, and bizarre details that didn't move the story forward (Do i care that Alice is wearing a pink sweater? no, i do not). the "twist" at the end wasn't what i would consider to be a twist at all, but rather a sort of rushed idea of how it should end. Overall, i felt like i didn't get a satisfactory explanation for either the historical murder or the current k ...more
May 05, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story line for this book was great - an old murder of a child, the 2 adolescent perpetrators finally released from prison, and now a child goes missing again in the small town. Unfortunately I was disappointed by the speed of the book and missed any connection with the characters.
To me, the book felt slow to build characters out, and I never really felt anything towards them, whether good or bad. It didn't matter to me what happened to either of the two girls or anyone else at the end. The e
Oct 11, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe it took me so long to read something by Laura Lippmann. Reading many of the other reviews of this novel, you either love her writing or hate the characters. I think her ability to drive a plot and write great characters (none of which are likable - and I honestly didn't care - her pacing is that good) is phenomenal. I couldn't put it down.
Jun 25, 2015 Chester marked it as ditched  ·  review of another edition
I made it 128 pages. This book was boring, characters uninteresting and unlikable.
Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 Rosina Lippi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first discovered Laura Lippman’s novels by coming across the (stand alone) Every Secret Thing.

Excellent storytelling and good writing are not, as the litcriterati might tell you, mutually exclusive; plot and prose get along very well together, if you let them. The literati are fixated on character these last thirty years or so, to the extent that some of them will tell you that plot is a four letter word. So I’m always really pleased to find a new author who writes beautifully and can tell a
Mar 30, 2015 Andi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 07, 2007 notyourmonkey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2007-read, owned
I quite enjoy Lippman's mysteries - the entire community perspective, the rotating points of view, the lack of one entirely sympathetic viewpoint. I came to her books on the heels of Eileen Dreyer's books, which I adore madly but can only read a couple in a row. They're kind of like candy. Lippman's books also fall into the candy factory, as they're easily devoured and not particularly earth-shattering, but they're more like chocolate candy, as opposed to the sugar-spun confections of Dreyer. Hm ...more
Jean Godwin Carroll
Two eleven year old girls are shunned from a birthday party. While walking home, they spy a baby left in a stroller on the front porch of a house. They decide to take the baby, and what follows destroys the lives of everyone involved. Now eighteen, the girls have served their time and have been released to return home. And children are starting to go missing again... This story held my interest and kept me guessing until the end.
Jun 07, 2013 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A promising psychological suspense novel that never takes off. Too many irrelevant detours and too little character development. I expected an exploration of the 2 protagonists and their mothers relative to the central crime, but Lippman lets tension wane and keeps every one at arm's length. I got 2/3 through the book and put it down.
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What's The Name o...: two young girls kill a baby *spoilers* [s] 4 113 Oct 07, 2014 01:31PM  
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Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for othe ...more
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