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A well written page-turner; Library Journal starred review!
A very interesting read. I struggled all the way through to like Helen, but her assurances that she really was a good person and none of it was her fault did not convince me anymore than she could convince herself. A stark change from the Tess series, and reminds me a bit of Emma--a heroine one can never really like but who can't seem to see that she creates her own misery.
Not a book for teens, I think, although most of the graphic descriptions on expects a sex worker book to include are left out. It does feel as if Lippman is lecturing us all on the evils of sex trade, but a likeable character would not have hurt, and the time she took to bash Lesbian ministers was just plain annoying. As long as you don't expect Tess to show up, you might like the book. I think she was trying to do an Upton Sinclair "The Jungle" type social critique.
Lars Keplar or Steig Larssen do a better job but are far more graphic.
NYPL Staff Pick
The owner of an escort service must disappear from her life when the murderer she secretly sent to prison is released and may discover he is her child’s father.
- Selection Team
This book seemed very ordinary to me. Well-plotted and it read fast, but I didn't feel there was any real depth to the characters. Why do I want to know about these people? They were all criminals, with no appeal at all to me. No interest in reading any other of her novels. Also puzzled why it is considered a mystery. Yes, someone was killed, but the focus of the book was not primarily on who-dun-it.
I am a major fan of all Laura Lippman's novels - but, this one was especially riveting plot wise and her main character, as ever, complex and appealing - not easy to pull-off when that person is a prostitute and madam - no cliches here. And - her take on human nature always satisfies, in that her characters have many facets and great observations. Since I advocate decriminalizing sex-work, this novel's theme is right up my political/philosophical alley. Plus - I grew up near Baltimore - so, it's trip back home when I read her.
Above-average good read, with characters we haven't seen before. Oh great, another new-to-me author I'm going to have to stack up!
A riveting book. At first I found it quite slow going but a buildup of tension and fear drew me into the story and I couldn’t stop reading. As opposed to portraying the characters as one dimensional villains, the author provides context for their choices and actions via the use of flashbacks.
Maybe I am the only person in North America who does not like this book, but I don't. I kept skipping paragraphs and even pages at a time, without losing any important information about character, theme or plot. After the rave reviews, I was amazed at just how pedestrian I found this. I am a huge mystery/crime fan, but this to me had the tone and cadence of a 1980 romance novel. Not my genre.
Laura Lippman books are so engrossing and the way she tells a story is so riveting. I loved this story about a girl who had few choices in life and turned them around for good, although challenging, she did what she had to do. I can relate.
Telling the story from the main character's point of view, but moving back and forth from her childhood to the present (2011), gives us insight into the reasons for Helen/Heloise's solutions to the challenges in her life and her motivations. However, other characters in the story are allowed to disagree with her, thereby, giving perspective. The skillfulness of the storytelling adds to the tension and terror as the threads of Helen/Heloise's life come together in a truly frightening climax. Another Laura Lippman page turner.