Monday, August 30, 2010

I'd Know You Anywhere - Laura Lippman

I'm a long time reader of Laura Lippman, having enjoyed every book in her Tess Monaghan series. I really enjoyed her stand alone novel Life Sentences as well, but  I'd Know You Anywhere (also a stand alone)  is now my favourite Lippman novel.

Eliza Benedict has, for the most part, packed her past away and moved on. She is married with two children and is happy being a stay at home mom. When she was fifteen and known as Elizabeth Lerner, she was abducted by a serial killer, kept by him for 40 days, then inexplicably left alive. Walter, the killer, was caught and has been on death row for 20 years.

The past won't be kept packed away though. Eliza is stunned when she receives a letter from Walter...
"I'm sure this is a shock, although that's not my intention to shock you  Up until a few weeks ago, I'd never thought I would have any communication with you at all and accepted that as fair....there was your photo, in Washingtonian magazine, not the usual thing I read, but you'd be surprised by my choice of reading material these days. Of course, you are older, a woman now. You've been a woman for a while, obviously. Still, I'd know you anywhere."
Why is he contacting her after so long? What could he possibly want? What will this do to Eliza's carefully ordered life?

Lippman alternates chapters from the past to the present very effectively. We see how Walter in the present is affecting Eliza's life. Alternatively we are transported back to 1985 and relive the abduction and the forty days of captivity. Be assured, there isn't a lot of graphic violence portrayed. It's more of a psychological study - of both Elizabeth and Walter and their time together. It also explores the repercussions of the crime on others in Eliza's life. Eliza's husband Peter knows about her past, but they have never talked about it with the children. Their teen daughter is rebellious and acting out and Eliza questions whether she has been overprotected because of her own past. Eliza's own relationships with her sister and parents were also irrevocably changed as were the family dynamics. The characterization of the mother of one of the other victims was tragic and touching. Many characters are given the chance to narrate, giving us insight into their 'take' on events.

As the story progresses, Eliza begins to question her own memories of those 40 days...

Lippman is a great storyteller and has crafted a great suspense/thriller in I'd Know You Anywhere.

Read an excerpt of I'd Know You Anywhere. You can also find Laura on Facebook.

Check out what the rest of the participants of the TLC Book Tour thought.

6 comments:

Kaye said...

Wow, sounds creepy to say the least. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. Have a great week,Luanne.

Sarah said...

Thank you for the review!!I have wanted to read this book!! Would you be willing to share yor copy?

foxchick0323@live.com

carolsnotebook said...

I keep meaning to read one of Lippman's books, but just haven't gotten around to it. Sounds like this one would be a great one to start with.

Ladytink_534 said...

I thought I may have read something of hers but I looked her up and I guess not. Maybe I just hear about her alot?

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I just got this on audio and I am soooo excited to start it!

trish said...

I know it has to be good since you've read most of her other books and this is now your favorite! I loved Lippman's last book, so I'm eager to start this one.

Thanks for being on this tour!