Laura Lippman - And When She Was Good
• Pub Date: August 14, 2012
• Publisher: William Morrow
• Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
• Age Range: Adult
• Source: Publisher
When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she's just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.
But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.
For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can't be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?
Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.
And then she learns that her son's father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn't know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn't realize that he's serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he's clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.
With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She's done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren't hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
Laura Lippman's Tess series is one I've read in the past. I've never tried her stand-alone work, and I'm always game for a good stand-alone. Especially an adult one. I read a lot of YA fiction, but this is a GREAT adult novel to pick up! I might say that this would make a great book club novel. It has great themes and discussion elements. It's addicting and curious. It wasn't predictable in the way that I knew how it would all play out, though I did guess at a couple things and get them right. Overall I really enjoyed this book.
What I really liked about this book was that it is so different than anything I've read recently. Who has read a novel recently about prostitutes?? I started reading Nancy Grace's book, but it didn't keep my attention. And I think maybe one of the James Patterson's WMC books might be about hookers. But this is a sex-worker book I will never forget. Heloise's story is interesting, creative, and surprising. She's a fascinating character, and I loved reading about the intricacies of her life and work. I'd definitely recommend this one to a friend. I'd love to try the audio book, too!
Bottom line: Definitely read this complex, addicting novel!
4/5 book sharks
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.
Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.