Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman

From Goodreads: Lippman sets many of the stories in this anthology, Hardly Knew Her, in familiar territory: her beloved Baltimore, from downtown to its affluent suburbs, where successful businessmen go to shocking lengths to protect what they have or ruthlessly expand their holdings, while dissatisfied wives find murderous ways to escape their lives. But Lippman is also unafraid to travel - to New Orleans, to an unnamed southwestern city, and even to Dublin, the backdrop for the lethal clash of two not-so-innocents abroad. Tess Monaghan is here, in two stories and a profile, aligning herself with various underdogs. And in her extraordinary, never-before published novella, Scratch a Woman, Lippman takes us deep into the private world of a high-priced call girl/madam and devoted soccer mom, exploring the mystery of what may, in fact, be written in the blood.

Wow, this one was great! The title, Hardly Knew Her, is apt as each short story takes the lead character places I couldn't imagine when they are first introduced. Not literal places, of course, but the dark places - deceit, murder, adultery. The Pollyanna in me has always believed that ordinary people are really capable of extraordinary things given the opportunity to shine. But this book takes it to the flip side of that coin, are we also, we "ordinary people", capable of horrific evil if that opportunity presents? Fun, quick read. This was the first Laura Lippman I have read. Not sure if I am ready to commit to a new series - I think her Tess Monaghan character has a series of books but I'll look and see what else she's got.

This works for these challenges..


bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any Lippman in a while, but she's never let me down.

JoAnn said...

Wow, this sounds great! I recently finished What the Dead Know and loved it. But, like you, I'm not sure I want to start a new series... think you've just helped me decide which Lippman to read next. Thanks.