Thursday, July 19, 2007

Great Cottage Read

Recommended by Deanna (aka ragdoll)

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

I had never heard of Laura Lippman before reading this novel last week while on vacation up north at our cottage. In terms of characterizing the novel, I'd have to say that it's a really well written, well conceived piece of literary/commercial fiction. Does that even help? Do you often buy books based on genres?

Anyway. Based on real-life events that happened in the Baltimore - Washington area in 1975, Lippman's novel tells the story of the two sisters, the 'Bethany girls,' who disappear from a shopping mall together one afternoon in the 1970s. Fast forward a couple of decades to where the book opens: a woman gets into a freak accident, crashes her car, and then is found walking down the road trying to flee the scene. When the police question her about the accident, she refuses to tell them anything except that she's one of the long-lost, thought dead Bethany sisters.

The rest of the novel unravels this mystery: is the woman, now in the hospital, truly a Bethany girl or is she someone looking to use that story to escape prosecution and/or punishment? And I have to tell you, it's completely compelling. I sat and read the book in its entirety over the course of a beautiful summer day where I could have been swimming, playing with my nephew and hanging out with my family. All things I always enjoy...unless I've got my nose in a completely addictive, totally well written thriller like What the Dead Know. Damn good summer reading and perfect for book clubs, I should think.

If you don't believe me, check out what Kate thought.

You can purchase online at Amazon, Indigo, or in your local bookstore.


Alice said...

I am currently compiling a list of cottage reads, and this sounds perfect. I shall add it to my list - thanks!

Nikki Stafford said...

Wow, this sounds amazing. I have so many books I want to read this summer, and you've just given me another one! :) Thanks, too, for the book blog site; I'll add it to the links.