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To the Power of Three

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  3,084 ratings  ·  317 reviews
The three girls have been inseparable best friends since the third grade -- Josie, the athletic one; Perri, the brilliant, acerbic drama queen; and Kat, the beauty, who also has brains, grace, and a heart open to all around her. But their last day of high school becomes their final day together after one of them brings a gun to school to resolve a mysterious feud. When the ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2005)
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This is my fourth Laura Lippman book (all stand-alone novels, not her mystery series), and I came to a realization about them: I like them a lot more while I'm reading them than when I'm done and looking back.

I think that's because her books really hold your interest--I always find myself invested in the characters and looking forward to picking up where I left off. But the climaxes always seem a bit disappointing. After caring so much about the characters, and really enjoying what's going on, t
This is my first Lippman book and I will definitely be reading more. The story is so well crafted. Three friends found shot in their high school bathroom. It looks like a simple case of jealousy among teen girls but as the years of friendship unravel it's not what it originally seems, but then again, it actually is. I found the ending believable more than shocking. For me, it's not always important to have a *gasp* revelation in the final chapter. I think it's more difficult to slowly flesh out ...more
I have to say I found this book to be pretty disappointed. I expected much more. I think the author could have done a lot more with the story. It had the potential to be really good, but definitely fell short. The book went on for much longer than it needed to. I was interested enough to want to know what happened at the end, and when I finally made it there, I said, "that's it?" I wanted a lot more.
To the Power of Three was my first novel by Laura Lippman. It’s hard to know what to say about it because while I didn’t love it, I certainly appreciated its merits.

To the Power of Three tells the story of Kat, Perri and Josie, childhood best friends. One June morning, one of the three brings a gun to school, shoots two of the girls (one fatally) and then herself. The novel then begins to unravel the story of what would have caused this horrible act of violence.

Lippman is an accomplished writer.
So many people have recommended Laura Lippman to me that I was extra disappointed that this book didn't wow me.

I thought the writing style odd at times-- even though it's in the 3rd person, the tone would change dramatically depending on which character it was following (gruff cop, ditzy teenager, etc).

The plot trods along dully, when a murder mystery should have an exciting pace... the big reveal at the end left me feeling like "OK, so that's what happened", not "OH SNAP! THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED!
Laura Lippman's best, IMHO. This is about 3 girls who were BFF's over a period of 10 years in a section of Maryland that is high end mixed with old rural on the farther Northern reaches of Baltimore. It's excellent. It holds such deep character study that I have actually read this twice, about 10 years apart. Found it laying in a rental home's "take one, leave one" paperback trove. I left 3 and took this one.

With competition for college path and access being what they are, and with the emotive
I've come upon yet another book set in my hometown of Baltimore, MD! This one mentions lots of places I know very well, so it makes the story more immediate.

Just finished the book...there are lots of things I love about Laura Lippman's writing, and I will definitely read more of her books, but as I have seen in many of the reviews, this is not her best work. The story started out like gangbusters, and I was very intrigued for about the first 1/3rd of the book, but then the story started to meand
Lisa H.
May 24, 2011 Lisa H. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who was an outcast in high school
Shelves: mystery
Lippman's freestanding novels are not your standard mysteries. (She has also written a series featuring a PI named Tess Monaghan, of which I've read part of one, that I'm not really interested in pursuing.) Yes, there's been a crime committed, and there usually are police involved, but her writing spends more time digging into the minds of the people involved, and looking at how their histories have led them to be connected to the crime in some way.

I remarked to a friend as I was reading this t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda C
Book was ok, but anti-climatic in the end. Listened to it on discs in the car, which was difficult because the point of view changed so often. I found myself listening to sections over and over to try and figure out who was speaking and wanted to flip the "pages" to re-read something. So if you are going to read it, choose the paper version, not the audio. Agree with other reviewers that it was too long. Felt like the writer realized that she was 500 pages and so needed to end it, fast. Also, I ...more
Mark Soone
I would go 2.5 stars, but can't quite bring myself to 3....I wanted to like this, and I almost liked this.

Decent little story about a school shooting, and the mysterious way things went down inside of a girls bathroom. The survivors testimony just not line up with clues. The rest of the book gradually details the way 3 young ladies (hence the title) developed a great friendship from the age of 8, and then flipping back and forth to add new characters, dimensions and unravel the mystery.

This boo
Simply exhilarating! Laura Lippman’s To the Power of Three kept me on the edge of my seat. It takes a special book for me to want to “cheat” and sneak a look at the ending. I am never one for much self-control so I must admit, I looked. ) But I still read the whole book. At some points I thought the story was a little disjointed with it flashing back to the girls past. And admittedly, those parts didn’t keep my interest as well as the present. Lippman does an excellent job of getting into the hi ...more
Four and three-quarters stars-- one of Lippman's very best.

And not, in any way, a typical police procedural, thriller or cozy, which is probably why other reviewers didn't particularly care for this stand-alone.

Here's what I absolutely loved about this book: Lippman gets three things absolutely right-- young/teenage girls, schools and the way they work, and what life is like in a community of privilege, like the fictional Glendale. The things the girls say to each other, what they worry about,
i like laura lippman a lot, and i thought "to the power of three" was another tess adventure. turns out it wasn't but no matter. i love how lippman weaves multiple story lines to a single point. she's a brilliant writer and i'm amazed at how she is able to write from the point of view of SO many characters. it was hard to put this book down, and i could hardly wait to pick it up again. it starts with a school shooting, with what appears to be a clear cut murder scenario, but the easy answer isn' ...more
This is kind of a standalone book, based on a real crime. Rather than focussing on the detectives and their police work, it tries to sort out how three teenage girls, once best friends, hurt each other physically and emotionally, culminating in a fatal shooting. Because of the large amount of time it tries to cover (it flashes back constantly to show different stages of the girls' friendship from childhood onwards) and the attempt to solve the crime while delving into the psychological and relat ...more
I think I have a girl crush on Laura Lippman. That's how much I like her books. I don't know if it's because I've been reading them since her very first, Baltimore Blues, came out in the mid-90's when I still lived in "The City That Reads" or if she's just that good (apparently the critics all have crushes on her, too, as she's won every major mystery writing award there ever was--she's even recently been serialized in the NY Times Magazine), but I love reading her books and am always a bit sad ...more
Bonnie McHenry
I agree with the last review. I was disappointed in the writing style, the plot and the character development. Being from Maryland, I was excited to read about a book where the setting was very familiar to me. That was about the only interesting thing in the book. The story seemed to drag on and the climax was totally not worth reading all 400 and some pages. I wanted to read her Tess Monaghan series but I think I will skip it after reading this.
I read Laura Lippman for the first time when I read "I'd Know You Anywhere." I thought it was very good read, so I decided to try another of her books. I was disappointed with this one. It was a quick easy read, but just didn't grab me at all. I couldn't figure out what motivated the girls involved and just didn't really care about the characters. It had potential, but just didn't arise to the occasion.
This book starts with a shooting in the girls' bathroom of a high school before school has officially opened for the day. When the police arrive they find one girl dead, another critically injured, and a third shot in the foot. The three girls had been close friends since elementary school through high school until their senior year. Then something happened to break up the threesome.
Laura Lippman does a good job of stringing the reader along with just enough information to make you want to keep
As predicted, I liked this book way more than every top review.

Stories like this just get me...I love the drama of it all. But I do not like the melancholy feelings that pester me at the end.

That's when I know a book is good: when that hint of grief is still curled up in my stomach long after I've read the last word.
Sue Jellum
I really liked reading this book, and would have given it 4 stars if I didn't feel so unsettled at the end. 3 girls, friends since grade school, are involved in a shooting at a high school. The story explains the friendship and doesn't do a great job of explaining the end of the friendship.
Lorie Eckert
To the Power of Three by Laura Lippman is the story of three high school seniors who have been close friends since third grade. However, something has gone terribly wrong in their friendship. The story opens with the three girls together in the school bathroom, where Kat is shot dead, Perri is shot in the head but not quite dead, and Josie is shot in the foot. It appears that Perri shot her friends before turning the gun on herself. Josie is a witness to it all, but there is little she is willin ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rytr_1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense readers
Recommended to rytr_1 by: can't remember
Shelves: 2015-reads, mystery
Lippman is great at character development and switching back and forth between characters. The ending struck me a bit odd but I'll think about it and it might click into place for me. Definitely would read more Lippman.

This book got me back into reading fiction, and for that I am grateful. My attention span for reading has decreased considerably in the past two years but this is something I am actively working on. It's coming back slowly. Laura Lippman helped. I understand she's on Goodreads so
Too long, not a bad story, horribly weak ending
Megan Kirkland31335
This book is a good mystery. This is the kind of book you would curl up to a fire and read. This book is definitely a little challenging. I read this book to my mom and it was fun. Reading this book was a fun thing to look forward to everyday. If there is a series i would definitely read it. I don't usually like reading mysteries. The title of the book just called to me and it made me want to read it. Now that i know I like mysteries, I would definitely read more. I absolutely recommend this boo ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"Baltimore police receive and urgent call out to Glendale High after gunshots are heard coming from a locked girls' toilet. It appears that three girls are in there but only one, Joise, is conscious. She assures the police through the locked door that she's not the shooter. She also insists that she cannot manage to unlock the door from the inside because of the injury she has suffered to her leg. After an janitor is summoned, the police cautiously enter the bathroom. They find three vict
Much as I enjoy Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, I like her non-series books more. They tend to be more complex psychologically, and seriously unpredictable. And so is the case here.

Three girls. Perri and Kat met in kindergarten, and Josie joined them in third grade. The three became a set, all the way into high school. Until they didn't. For some reason a separation happened among the girls, some distance was created. It was unclear why. Then the unthinkable happened. One of the girls brings a
Lukasz Pruski
Laura Lippman’s “To the Power of Three” is advertised on the cover as a “novel of suspense”. Indeed. We know who pulled the trigger from the very beginning, but we do not know why and exactly how. Finding the answer to these questions provides sustained suspense throughout the book. However, to me, the suspense aspect is not the main reason that the novel is worth reading. I find the psychological and sociological observations of status structures in school quite interesting.

We follow the friend
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 other ...more
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“Sometimes you have to destroy things, even people, in order to save them. (7)” 7 likes
“No one at fifteen was ever in love, outside of Romeo and Juliet, and maybe not even them. Old Giff used to argue that the star-crossed lovers simply were buzzed on the fumes of forbidden lust. Give them thirty years of togetherness, Old Giff always said, and Juliet would be plunging the dagger into Romeo.” 4 likes
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