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January 8, 2009 / C.T. Henry

REVEW: What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

what-the-dead-knowLaura Lippman is mostly known for her popular and highly praised series, featuring the tough Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan. In addition, she has written two other stand-alone thrillers, Every Secret Thing and To The Power of Three, but neither received as much critical acclaim as What the Dead Know. In 2008, What the Dead Know swept the Boucheron Convention winning the Anthony, Barry, and Macavity awards. And it was well deserved. What the Dead Know is a haunting, beautifully written novel of suspense.

When a Baltimore policeman questions a middle-aged woman, clearly dazed after a car accident, she responds: “I’m one of the Bethany girls.” Thirty years ago, two sisters, ages 11 and 15, disappeared from Baltimore’s Security Square Mall. No one has seen or heard from them, and everyone assumed they were abducted and then murdered. Homicide detective Kevin Infante investigates the woman’s claim, only to be frustrated at every turn. Even though he assumes that she’s lying, she seems to know a lot about what happened to the Bethany girls on that fateful day.

Written with such care and lyrical prose, What the Dead Know is a masterpiece. If you liked Mystic River, as I did, you will love this intelligent and penetrating thriller from Laura Lippman. She takes you back to 1975 and slowly unravels exactly what happened to the two girls. The ending is completely shocking and not to be missed.


Leave a Comment
  1. Cathy / Jan 9 2009 2:16 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book, too. I thought it was very well done!

  2. lotusgreen / Mar 4 2010 7:34 pm

    ooo– that’s a really good comparison (mystic river)


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