What the Dead Know

Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman’s mysteries are set in Baltimore, and this new novel is no exception; it even retains her standard emphasis on blue-collar neighborhoods, but the action proceeds without Lippman’s usual heroine, reporter Tess Monaghan. This book’s characters are as dysfunctional as any she’s written, however and (as always) too smart for their own good. Featuring a mysterious woman who is definitely lying, yet might be one of two sisters who disappeared from a shopping mall in 1975 and presumed dead, the story travels back and forth through time, cranking up the emotional stake and laying as many false trails as true. Forgoing her usual main characters and freed of the constraints of a series, she has opened up to tell a powerful, satisfying story. It’s a good read from a solid writer.