Laura Lippman is another favourite author who has taken a break from their recurring character (Tess Monaghan) to pen another stand alone novel.
The Most Dangerous Thing is the story of five childhood friends - Mickey, Gwen, Sean, Tim and Gordon aka Gogo - in the Baltimore area. They spend the summer of 1977 running through the woods near their homes, until a tragic event changes everything. Fast forward - Gogo has died and the others gather for the first time in twenty years. Was Gogo's death an accident or suicide? Could the events from that long ago time still be affecting the present? For each of them? What really happened? They never spoke of it aloud after that day.
Each character (and a few more including the parents of the five) recounts their take on the event and what ripples and changes it may have caused in their lives. But the incident is not the only topic of each character - their hopes, dreams and disappointments are all fodder for each 'vignette'. Definitely a character driven novel.
I chose to listen to this book in audio format and I'm glad I did. I don't honestly think I would have enjoyed it as much in written form. (Or would it have kept my interest) Listening to reader Linda Emond made it a little more intimate, more like listening to someones thoughts and conversations with themselves. Emond's voice has rich undertones. She reads in a well modulated tone and pace, conveying the introspection of each character well.
The events of that day are central to the book and I wanted to find out what really happened. I don't think you could slot this book into any one category. There is a mystery, but It would also fit just as well into contemporary fiction - exploring the themes of friendship, betrayal, jealousy, guilt and much more.
A cameo appearance by Tess Monoghan ensures that her life is moving forward and that we can hope to see a new book about her soon.
The most dangerous thing?.......a secret?.....or the truth?......
Listen to an excerpt of The Most Dangerous Thing. Or read an excerpt. You can find Lippman on Facebook.