Lori's Reviews > Every Secret Thing

Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman
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's review
Dec 27, 08

it was ok
bookshelves: mystery-suspense-crime-fiction
Read in December, 2008

My first encounter with Laura Lippman was earlier this year when I read and enjoyed What the Dead Know. I was in the mood for an entertaining mystery for the busy holiday season...something I can pick up and put back down again 15 times a day amidst all the holiday chaos. The choppy way in which I approached this title may have had something to do with my relative lack of enthusiasm. However, I also believe the pacing in this book was somewhat "off".

First, let me say that I will seek out more of Laura Lippman's work. I am getting to know the recurring police characters in her stand alone titles. And I believe she shows talent for presenting authentic characters. I prefer my stories to be character driven at least as strongly as they are plot driven. I was interested in the various characters portrayed in the universe of the crime -- in this case the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a child at the hands of two 11 year old girls -- but it got to the point where the plot seemed too crowded. Some pivotal characters made an appearance only in the last few chapters in the book.

Maybe this mimics the real world of police procedural...where crime and punishment is not written down in five perfect Shakespearian acts. In a work of fiction, however, pacing plays a major role in the reader's experience in savoring the plot...or in being swept away on a roller coaster ride, depending upon the author's style and intent.

Here, it felt like Lippman was given a page limit. There were more sub plots that needed development. But, the book was going to end up being too long if they were pursued in detail. The result is a book that takes its time setting up the characters and back story for the crime. (In my opinion, a positive. I like to get a feel for the motives and personalities on all sides of a crime story and the environment in which the action takes place.) ---Then, after a somewhat detailed roll out, turns into a story that is over eager to complete itself.

In my opinion, the author has the chops to do more. Let's see what she comes up with next time.

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