Janet's Reviews > What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
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's review
Oct 11, 2011

really liked it
Read in October, 2011

I would like to give this 3 & 1/2 stars but I am happy to go with 4 rather than 3. Sometimes how you feel about a book has more to do with when you read it than with the book itself. In this case I read during a beautiful stretch of Indian Summer weather here is the Northeast. I was able to enjoy sitting in my hammock chair on the back porch & there is simply no better reading experience than that.

That said, this is a good read and I didn't want to put it down. It is a compelling mystery telling the story of 2 young sisters who disappeared from a shopping mall in 1975 - 30 years later a woman claims to be one of the sisters after being involved in a traffic accident near where they lived at the time of their disappearance. This is the first Laura Lippman book I have read - I'm so glad that I enjoyed it because she has written quite a few books and it is always nice to discover a new author. At first I was not impressed with her writing but eventually I found that her writing style is quite perfect because it never gets in the way of the story. The focus of the story bounces among the characters and within the 30 year time frame. This can be confusing and distracting but it is handled well and contributes lots of information for the reader - the girls lives before their disappearance, the parents' marriage and how they coped with the tragedy, the police involved at the time and those trying to solve the mystery now ... everything contributes to the story & there are no gratuitous details. I appreciated all references to the 1970s - a time before DNA and computer tracking and 24 hour a day news - this story could not happen in today's world of technology. I try to avoid spoilers so I will only say that the ending came as a surprise, and it was as satisfying as I could hope for.

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