Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wilde Lake” as Want to Read:
Wilde Lake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wilde Lake

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  9,468 ratings  ·  1,367 reviews
The bestselling author of the acclaimed standalones After I’m Gone, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by William Morrow
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wilde Lake, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sandy Anderson I heard Laura Lippman speak recently at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. And have read interviews such as this one .
I heard Laura Lippman speak recently at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. And have read interviews such as this one .
She definitely took the core structure of To Kill a Mockingbird as a starting point but then spun it into her own reflection on truth, who you believe and why, family secrets .... I took the To Kill a Mockingbird references more as a hommage and a starting place rather than being bothered by them.
Kelly i agree. I'm listening to the audio as well and cringe every time she says that name. lol I'm also from Maryland and she's mispronouncing Arundel…morei agree. I'm listening to the audio as well and cringe every time she says that name. lol I'm also from Maryland and she's mispronouncing Arundel Mills and Ellicott City. It's annoying(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,468 ratings  ·  1,367 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bottom Line: Some things are just inescapable. Like the glaze of childhood upon our bones. Fraught, sometimes difficult times that revisit us. Plummeting deeper into the waters of wavering denial.

Luisa Brant possesses a determined, tenacious spirit. This serves her well as the newly elected state attorney of Howard County, Maryland. Those bones have been well-formed as she has cut a path in the same vision as her famous attorney father. Newly widowed and a mother of twins, Lu takes r
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Of the three stand-alone novels I've read (i.e. those unrelated to the Tess Monaghan series) of Laura Lippman's prolific career, Wilde Lake is probably my favorite. As I mentioned in reviews of her The Most Dangerous Thing and I'd Know You Anywhere, Ms. Lippman's greatest asset is her ability of conveying sense of place. I don't know Baltimore at all, but I feel like I do after reading her stuff. (This ability is rivaled only by Dennis Lehane's gritty you-are-there Boston portraits and a few of Thomas Pynchon's go ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The last (and only) Laura Lippman book I've read previous to Wilde Lake was The Girl in the Green Raincoat in 2013. I had to look up the summary of the book to remember what the book was about and why I gave it 2 stars. Even after reading the blurb, I still can't remember many details so I was a bit leery about investing my time in another lackluster book by this author. I'm so glad I did. This was a well crafted, engaging mystery that was not the least bit predictable. 5 stars for a book that I ...more
“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

----Anaïs Nin

Laura Lippman, an American bestselling author, pens an intriguing thriller in her new book, Wilde Lake that unfolds the story of the first female attorney of her county, who earns her first murder case, that looks like an easy win to her, but underneath the simple mystery lies a mind-blowing truth that will take this woman back to her childhood days when h
Jun 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book contains one of the most unlikeable protagonists that I have ever met.

Luisa "Lu" Brant is the first female states attorney of Howard County. As her first murder case comes up - a woman beaten and choked to death in her bedroom she takes it, a seemingly open and shut case - the perpetrator being a homeless drifter with a history of violence. But as she starts to look into the case it seems to be more to it than she initially thought, and ties back to memories she has as a yo

Luisa Brant’s mother died a week after Lu was born – her brother AJ was eight so was lucky to have had his mother for those first years of his life. Lu and AJ’s father was a highly respected member of the community in which they lived; State Attorney of Howard County in Maryland. The three of them lived together in their big home with housekeeper/carer/nanny Teensy working days – Lu’s father wasn’t a demonstrative man, but cared for them just the same.

When AJ was eighteen th3.5s ...more
Liz Barnsley
Laura Lippman has been described as one of the best crime novelists writing today – and I have to say from a purely readers point of view that I would absolutely agree with that.

Wilde Lake is perhaps my favourite of hers so far – multi layered, intensely engaging, a story about family secrets, community, perception and reality, with some intriguing and brilliantly drawn characters and an atmospheric and authentic setting.

The story uses the past/present narrative in a slig
Roger Brunyate
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries-kinda

Forget the dark-and-stormy-night implications of the garish cover. Far from wild, Wilde Lake is the man-made centerpiece of a manicured subdivision in a new town arising out of the idealism of the later sixties: Columbia, Maryland. Laura Lippman makes no bones about this; one of the most interesting things about her new book (especially for a reader who came to America at about this time and lives close by) is the time-capsule it offers of its place and period. The novel proceeds in at-
joyce g
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Written well, just not what I was hoping for.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Wilde Lake not only was an engrossing book it also gave me a new favorite author that I really need to read more books by. Why haven't I read anything by Laura Lippman before? Wilde Lake jumps between the present story with Luisa "Lu" Brant investigating as an attorney a murder and through flashbacks to the 80s do we get to know more about Lu's childhood, her growing up with her father and brother and a murder case that made her father, who was an attorney too, famous. We also learn about the ni ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Most readers seemed to like this book. I thought there were some good moments but not enough, and the ending was not satisfying. Lippman's handling of two different time frames is well done and the tantalizing juxtaposition of past and present creates the best moments of the story. However, the resolution of the converging stories is much weaker than I expected, and left too much unexplained.
Wilde Lake is a neighborhood in the town of Columbia, MD. Lippmann seems to agree with most of the common criticisms of this planned community founded in the late 60's by developer James Rouse. Not only was it designed to create a small city with a village feel, but has the lofty aims to eliminate racism and religious and class intolerance. Lippman mentions (more than once) the fact that Columbia has an interfaith center rather than places of worship for various faiths. This has been often criti ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Finding Lippman's Sunburn this year to be a 5 star studded book, I found a couple of her older books in audio from OverDrive. This is the first of those, and it is thoughtful in its plotting, full of old secrets that if revealed could change her family and how she sees it. The audio version employed different female voices to tell of Lu's motherless childhood and her adult years as an elected state's attorney, following in her father's footsteps. Her first murder case brings back the time when her fath ...more
Joshilyn Jackson
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite Lippman, which is saying something.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2016; William Morrow/Harper Collins

In Lippman's newest standalone novel she weaves the 1960s, 70s, 80s and present day to tell us about the Brant family. Lu Brant is following her father's footsteps when she is the newly appointed state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland. The first murder case that comes to her brings backs memories of her past, or rather her brother's coming of age story. As she delves into the murder case she is also uncovering secrets of he
Nan Williams
Jul 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: quit, no-more
This new novel by Laura Lippman is a great disappointment. The story started with a memory from 1980 and then moved right into the current (1/1/15) time frame giving us the basis for the plot. After fewer than 10 pages we had another flashback, to another time period. And then another chapter in the current time and then another flashback to a still different time period.

The flashbacks seemed to get more and more frequent, disregarding the actual plot completely. Also the flashbacks
Anne Ross
Aug 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I gave it 100 pages but just can't get into it. Too much back story, slow forward movement, and I can't connect with the characters.
switterbug (Betsey)
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fans of Laura Lippman's detective series and stand-alone novels may be surprised that this is less a mystery than it is the story of family and community, and the narratives that shape our lives. It is also an exploration of memory, the mineshaft between facts and truth, and the precarious tunnel between parental and self-protection. “The truth is not a finite commodity that can be contained within identifiable borders. The truth is messy, riotous, overrunning everything. You can never know the ...more
Karyn Niedert
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book over a month ago, and I had to ponder exactly how I felt about the characters, the storyline, and give a final determination about how I felt after reading the book. I'm still simmering over it, but here's a quick snapshot of my thoughts...

Luisa "Lu" Brant is from a Family (yes, capital letter) in a relatively small town. Her older brother is Mr. BMOC but always treats Lu kindly. Her father was the state's attorney for Howard County when she was young, and now it is
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
“The truth is messy, riotous, overrunning everything. You can never know the whole truth of anything. And if you could, you would wish you didn’t.”

So what is the truth that state’s attorney Luisa “Lu” Brant is pursuing? She is getting ready to prosecute the case of a mentally disturbed homeless man who savagely beat a woman to death in her own apartment. There appears to be no connection between victim and perpetrator.

As the truth of what happened that night gradually com
Robert Blumenthal
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some authors blur the line between mystery/thriller and literary fiction. No one, IMHO, blurs it more than Laura Lippman. Whenever I read her, I feel as if I could be reading a novel written by a Sue Miller or a Christina Schwartz. I find it ironically amusing that this book is sorted in the Mystery section, while many of the mysteries that I have read (Girl on a Train, e.g.) being sorted in the Fiction section. This novel is as much a coming of age story as it is a mystery, though there are cer ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it

The famous Brandt family....could they do anything wrong or were they not able to because of their status? Or...did they do it anyway?

The Brandt family was made up of attorneys and secrets. Lu and her brother AJ were eight years apart with Lu admiring AJ and his friends. The secrets kept all of those years of the night AJ saved someone's life along with another secret and how it affected their lives became apparent as the book continued.

Wilde Lake tells the story through flashbacks.
A wonderfully told story of a mystery of the past and today. Told from 2 points of view of the same person. Lu as a young girl and Lu now as an adult. I definitely liked the parts of the book told by younger Lu the most, but it was well thought out about the differences in many of the characters over the years and who they end up becoming. Definitely worth the read.
Judy Collins
Talented storyteller, Laura Lippman returns following 2015 Hush Hush with her latest standalone, WILDE LAKE emotionally charged, complex- rich in character and dark family secrets.

Wilde Lake revolves around a family relationship between a daughter, father, and brother. Where the truth may not always set you free.

Family loyalty, secrets, deceptions, and mysteries of the past connect with the present. Should we leave the past, in the past? A family journey from Baltimore to the community of Columbia,
Maureen DeLuca
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Has to be me- this was a struggle for me to get through- I'd ignore my rating and read other reviews and maybe decide for yourself?
Apr 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldnt-finish
What is wrong with me? Anxious to read this as I think Lippmann is a great author. 40% into it and it's just drudgery. Blah
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I have read and enjoyed several of Lippman’s standalone novels. This one is eminently readable but because of its many echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird, I found myself focusing more on finding comparisons than enjoying the narrative.

Luisa (Lu) Brant, the daughter of a former state’s attorney in Maryland, has moved back into her childhood home with her father after the death of her husband. She has become the new state’s prosecutor for the county. There are two timelines. Lu (in first person narra
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-star
There was very little I liked about this book, but I didn’t dislike it enough to give it one star. I spent most of my time reading this feeling rather disengaged, which sucks because there was a lot of potential in this story.

This story follows Lu, the first female state’s attorney in her county, as she has just taken on her first murder case. Half of the story is told in the past, focusing on Lu’s childhood and relationship with her family, namely her brother.

The present is told
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Sometimes there can be so much backstory that the reader loses sight of the plot in the present. Such is the case in Wilde Lake when we spend a majority of the novel learning about the childhood of Luisa and AJ and their once famous states attorney father. Lu is a newly minted and elected states attorney following in her father's footsteps. When a local down on his luck drifter is accused of beating a woman to death in her home, Lu decides to try the man in court as her first case.

Events in the
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"We always want our heroes to be better than their times, to hold the enlightened views we have achieved one hundred, fifty, ten years later."

Luisa "Lu" Brandt's childhood is one of both tragedy and triumph. Her mother died one day after giving birth to Lu, leaving Andrew Jackson Brandt to raise her and her older brother AJ. Mr. Brandt never adapted to the domesticity that being a single father demands, but he did fiercely love his children. Never having a true female role model, oth
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Queen Anne's Lace (China Bayles #26)
  • Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone)
  • Dear Current Occupant
  • The Immune System (Dewey Decimal #3)
  • Missing Justice (Samantha Kincaid #2)
  • Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s: Mischief / The Blunderer / Beast in View / Fools' Gold
  • If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go
  • The Conjoined
  • The Parcel
  • Acts of Desperation
  • Discretion (Anna Curtis, #2)
  • Figures in a Landscape: People and Places
  • Dead Girls
  • If Thy Right Hand
  • How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir
  • Under Cold Stone (Constable Molly Smith #7)
  • The Substitute
  • All Inclusive
See similar books…
Laura Lippman is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has won more than twenty awards for her fiction, including the Edgar Award—and been nominated for thirty more. Since her debut in 1997, she has published twenty-one novels, a novella, a children’s book, and a collection of short stories. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. LitHub named her one of the “essential” fema ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Besides, what is the whole truth and nothing but the truth? The truth is not a finite commodity that can be contained within identifiable borders. The truth is messy, riotous, overrunning everything. You can never know the whole truth of anything. And if you could, you would wish you didn’t.” 8 likes
“The thing people are never indifferent to are differences.” 6 likes
More quotes…