Friday, May 6, 2016

Wilde Lake - Laura Lippman

I've read all of Laura Lippman's books. I don't bother looking at the flyleaf at all anymore - I just know I'm going to enjoy whatever story she's crafted. Her Tess Monaghan series is a perennial favourite of mine, but the stand alones are just as good.

Her latest stand alone, Wilde Lake, has just released.

Lu Brant has just been elected as the first female State's Attorney of Howard County, Maryland, filling the chair that her father once held. She decides to make her presence known by taking on a recent murder case - a woman beaten to death in her home by a homeless man.

Lippman employs one of my favourite story telling techniques - past and present in alternating chapters. As Lu prepares for the impending court case, names and events from her own past begin to pop up. And so we relive Lu's life from age six until it collides with the present day - with a very loud crash.

Ahh, Lippman is such a storyteller. I was immediately caught up in the characters and the plot. Lu is a difficult character, bristly, stubborn and somewhat unpredictable. I felt sympathy for young Lu but funnily enough that sympathy did not extend to adult Lu, even though I knew the past shaped her present. I didn't really like adult Lu at all.

There is more than one mystery in Wilde Lake. That of the accused drifter of course, but also events in the past - seemingly all stemming from one night in her brother AJ's life. " Most of what I know about that night is from reading old court documents and press accounts over the past few months." But as we learn more about the Brant family from Lu's memories, it seems that one night is just one event never fully spoken of. There are others. From the outside looking in, the Brants have an idyllic life - from the inside looking out, the view is not quite the same.

The mysteries are joined by an exploration of family dynamics, tensions, deceptions, what we would do to protect our families and loved ones and the consequences of those choices. There ate many 'reveals' in the last few chapters. There was one late addition that I thought was a bit of a stretch, but on reflection, I could see the groundwork being laid in the chapters dealing with the past.

I enjoyed Wilde Lake - although it's less of a true mystery than some of my favourite Lippman books, it kept me engaged from first page to last. Read an excerpt of Wilde Lake.

Interesting side note - Lippman grew up in Columbia, Maryland (the setting for this book) and also attended Wilde Lake High School. (also featured)

Cr: Jan Cobb
"Since Laura Lippman’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family." You can connect with Laura Lippman on her website, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. See what others on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here.


bermudaonion said...

I need to get back to some Lippman books - I haven't read her in a while.

Elizabeth said...

Nice review.

I agree about it not being a true me it was more of a family saga, but that's ok. The book was good.

Silver's Reviews
My Blog

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

There is so often more to a story than meets the eye, more to a situation than can be seen from the outside. It's a good reminder to me to never judge without having full information.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

trish said...

I love Lippman's books for being more than 'just' mysteries, and this one sounds like it's no exception. I can't wait to read it myself!