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What the Dead Know: A Novel

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What the Dead Know: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780061128851
ISBN10: 0061128856
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

The Rooster 2008 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Review-A-Day

"What the Dead Know, which takes its title from Ecclesiastes, is a particularly well done puzzle by a true pro. While clever readers may be able to guess the mystery woman's identity, that won't detract from the book's considerable enjoyment. (Grade: A-)" Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who — or what — could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been, why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead-end — a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household.

In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?

Review:

"Edgar-winner Lippman, author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series (No Good Deeds, etc.), shows she's as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone. A driver who flees a car accident on a Maryland highway breathes new life into a 30-year-old mystery — the disappearance of the young Bethany sisters at a shopping mall — after she later tells the police she's one of the missing girls. As soon as the mystery woman drops that bombshell, she clams up, placing the new lead detective, Kevin Infante, in a bind, as he struggles to gain her trust while exploring the odd holes in her story. Deftly moving between past and present, Lippman presents the last day both sisters, Sunny and Heather, were seen alive from a variety of perspectives. Subtle clues point to the surprising but plausible solution of the crime and the identity of the mystery woman. Lippman, who has also won Shamus, Agatha, Anthony and Nero Wolfe awards, should gain many new fans with this superb effort. 9-city author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A woman of about 40 is involved in an auto accident outside Baltimore. When police demand identification, she has none. Pressed, she claims to be Heather Bethany, the younger of two sisters, ages 11 and 15, who vanished from a Baltimore shopping mall 30 years earlier. The woman won't give details ('I don't want to be the freak of the week on all those news channels'), and the police are skeptical... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The best mystery writing around." Village Voice Literary Supplement

Review:

"[A] story of achingly real characters and deep emotional resonance, an intense psychological study of loss....[B]y venturing out in such a bold new direction, Lippman has not only expanded the frontiers of genre fiction, she has also enriched the body of American literature." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"What the Dead Know, like the best books in this tradition, is doubly satisfying. You read it once just to move breathlessly toward the finale. Then you revisit it to marvel at how well Ms. Lippman pulled the wool over your eyes." Janet Maslin, New York Times

Review:

"Lippman has burnished her storytelling skills and the elegance of her writing to a new level....Lippman has cemented her new standing as a literary novelist who just happens to work in the mystery genre." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Though her ending is a bit of a stretch in this latest offering, the compelling plot and vivid characters prove the author well worthy of honors bestowed." Booklist

Review:

"This standalone mystery featuring recurring characters is as heavy on the portrait of one Baltimore family as it is on the whodunit. Lippman fans are most likely to be pleased." Library Journal

Review:

"Lippman writes with such a deft touch and with such keen insight." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Laura Lippman's stories aren't just mysteries; they are deeply moving explorations of the human heart. She is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today." Tess Gerritsen, author of The Mephisto Club

Review:

"You don't have to be a mystery lover to appreciate it, a moving portrait of a family's private grief during a public tragedy....Lippman pulls you to the end with an exquisite twist." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Synopsis:

Bestselling author Lippman returns to the compelling terrain of Every Secret Thing and To the Power of Three with this indelible story of crime and vengeance in which the past becomes all too present.

About the Author

New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman was a Baltimore Sun reporter for twelve years. Her novels have been awarded every major prize in crime fiction. A first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

prettypilgrim, November 26, 2007 (view all comments by prettypilgrim)
What appears at first to be a well-written mystery of the police procedural variety turns out to be a truly fascinating character study. Laura Lippman achieves this feat by the use of creative flashbacks and pain-staking research that illuminate not just the day in 1975 when two teenage girls disappeared from a suburban Baltimore mall, but also the aftermath of the disappearance on the girls and their parents and the culture of “missing persons” that has evolved over the past thirty years. The author makes an interesting choice in portraying Baltimore and its police as supporting characters to the primary drama that belongs to the girls and their family. When the victim of an auto accident claims to be one of the missing girls who has resurfaced thirty years later with a less-than-credible account of what happened and where she has been all those years, it is hard for the savvy mystery reader to believe that it will take nearly three-hundred and fifty pages to get at the true story-–but it does, because Lippman is a masterful storyteller, slipping easily between past and present, never focusing exclusively on any one protagonist for too long, and giving us just enough insight at each chapter’s end to make us want to plunge into the next section. I got so wrapped up in this book over Thanksgiving weekend, I forgot to go out and be a good consumer.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061128851
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Lippman, Laura
Author:
by Laura Lippman
Publisher:
William Morrow
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Subject:
Kidnapping
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20070313
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.21 in 21.04 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2008
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

What the Dead Know: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780061128851 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Edgar-winner Lippman, author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series (No Good Deeds, etc.), shows she's as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone. A driver who flees a car accident on a Maryland highway breathes new life into a 30-year-old mystery — the disappearance of the young Bethany sisters at a shopping mall — after she later tells the police she's one of the missing girls. As soon as the mystery woman drops that bombshell, she clams up, placing the new lead detective, Kevin Infante, in a bind, as he struggles to gain her trust while exploring the odd holes in her story. Deftly moving between past and present, Lippman presents the last day both sisters, Sunny and Heather, were seen alive from a variety of perspectives. Subtle clues point to the surprising but plausible solution of the crime and the identity of the mystery woman. Lippman, who has also won Shamus, Agatha, Anthony and Nero Wolfe awards, should gain many new fans with this superb effort. 9-city author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "What the Dead Know, which takes its title from Ecclesiastes, is a particularly well done puzzle by a true pro. While clever readers may be able to guess the mystery woman's identity, that won't detract from the book's considerable enjoyment. (Grade: A-)" (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "The best mystery writing around."
"Review" by , "[A] story of achingly real characters and deep emotional resonance, an intense psychological study of loss....[B]y venturing out in such a bold new direction, Lippman has not only expanded the frontiers of genre fiction, she has also enriched the body of American literature."
"Review" by , "What the Dead Know, like the best books in this tradition, is doubly satisfying. You read it once just to move breathlessly toward the finale. Then you revisit it to marvel at how well Ms. Lippman pulled the wool over your eyes."
"Review" by , "Lippman has burnished her storytelling skills and the elegance of her writing to a new level....Lippman has cemented her new standing as a literary novelist who just happens to work in the mystery genre."
"Review" by , "Though her ending is a bit of a stretch in this latest offering, the compelling plot and vivid characters prove the author well worthy of honors bestowed."
"Review" by , "This standalone mystery featuring recurring characters is as heavy on the portrait of one Baltimore family as it is on the whodunit. Lippman fans are most likely to be pleased."
"Review" by , "Lippman writes with such a deft touch and with such keen insight."
"Review" by , "Laura Lippman's stories aren't just mysteries; they are deeply moving explorations of the human heart. She is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today."
"Review" by , "You don't have to be a mystery lover to appreciate it, a moving portrait of a family's private grief during a public tragedy....Lippman pulls you to the end with an exquisite twist."
"Synopsis" by , Bestselling author Lippman returns to the compelling terrain of Every Secret Thing and To the Power of Three with this indelible story of crime and vengeance in which the past becomes all too present.
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