Book Review: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

Cannonball Read IV #56

I am new to Laura Lippman but when I read the summary of her book What the Dead Know on my library’s website, I thought it sounded right up my alley. It was a delightful, although not scary, read.

The young Bethany sisters disappear one afternoon on their way to the mall and no one is able to find them or find any leads about where they might be. Three decades later, a middle-aged woman involved in a car accident claims to be one of the sisters. Police must determine if her story is true and if so, what happened to the girls all those years ago and why it took so long to find them. There are many complications along the way – the girl claims her sister is dead, her father is dead, and her mother now lives in Mexico. Finally, the truth is reveal, but it is a surprise to all who are involved.

I really liked this novel. It moved in time from the present to the 70s regularly, which works well for me as a reader. I am very non-linear like that when it comes to books so it worked to grab my attention and to keep me reading in order to find out what happened next. I also really liked the characters, especially Heather and the interaction she had with the social worker who was helping her.

There were some unnecessary characters, like the male detective – seriously, why is really necessary for characters to be horn-dogs? It didn’t add to the plot. But I guess if that’s my biggest gripe in a book, then it’s something small.

There were two things I really liked that caught me by surprise: one, the events surrounding the girls’ births. I don’t want to write anymore and give it away for people who like surprises, but it caught me off guard and made so much sense.

And then there was the big surprise at the end of the book. I’ve read a few reviews where people said they’d figured it out, so I’m either blind or really dense, but I did not suspect what happened to happen at all. And I loved it. I usually read plot summaries of mystery books because it stresses me out and I just rush through them, trying to find the “whodunit” part as quickly as possible, but I kept myself from doing it with the book and was so pleased because the ending was really shocking to me!

Totally a great fall mystery read!


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One response to “Book Review: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

  1. Pingback: Krista’s #CBR$ Reviews #53-60 « Cannonball Read IV

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