Laura Lippman has a new book out called Wilde Lake (and it has the best ever cover quote) Kerry Hammond reviews it here for us today. Laura has also given us her Aunt Effie's recipes for salmon balls, if you'd like a snack while you read.
Wilde Lake is Laura Lippman’s 9th standalone novel. It was published in hardcover by William Morrow. Lippman is a former reporter for The Baltimore Sun and in addition to her standalone novels, she has written twelve books in the Tess Monaghan series, along with several short stories featuring Tess. I absolutely love Lippman’s writing style and the Baltimore backdrop for her mysteries. I always jump at the chance to read and review one of her books.
Wilde Lake is set in real life Columbia, Maryland, a pre-planned suburb between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Luisa Brant, known to her friends and family as Lu, grew up in Columbia as the daughter of the Howard County State’s Attorney. She has just been elected the first female to fill that exact position, following in her famous father’s footsteps. She has decided to try a controversial case where a mentally handicapped man is accused of murder. The investigation into the murder causes her to search back in her memory to her childhood. Her brother AJ, eight years her senior, was put before a grand jury after causing the death of a local man, the result of a fight where AJ was trying to save his friend. AJ was cleared of the charges, but the incident has never been forgotten; not by Lu or AJ.
As Lu continues to prepare her case, she realizes that she doesn’t have all the facts from the past. She starts to wonder what pieces of the puzzle were kept from her because of the fact that she was so young when the tragedy occurred. The information she uncovers proves to change everything she thought she knew about her family and her childhood on Wilde Lake.
This story is such a page turner that I read it in two sittings. I was fascinated by both the characters and their stories. Lu is our protagonist, and we definitely root for her, but she’s also a very flawed individual. I found it fascinating that I loved reading about her, but might not want to befriend her if she were to jump off the page into real life. The story unraveled at a perfect pace, and all of the secrets were revealed by the time I turned the last page. Lippman is a master storyteller and it’s no wonder she’s a New York Times Bestselling author. She is the kind of author whose book I will blindly take on vacation, with no backup read. I am that confident that I will enjoy anything she writes.
A fun little side note: according to Lippman’s website bio, she graduated from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Maryland—just like Lu. I bet she had a great time making up a mystery set in the town where she grew up, and it no doubt provided a trip down memory lane.
This book was provided to Mystery Playground by the publisher. The review is fair and independent.
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