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What the Dead Know


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Film rights to Lippman's first standalone thriller EVERY SECRET THING have been optioned by Frances McDormand Lippman beat off strong competition to win the 2004 Anthony Award for EVERY SECRET THING NO GOOD DEEDS has been shortlisted for the 2006 Anthony Award and BY A SPIDER'S THREAD was shortlisted for the 2005 Edgar Award Brilliant quotes received for Lippman: 'Wonderfully paced, really well-crafted and her characters are superbly drawn - very believable. It's not often that a crime novel gets the balance right between plot and character but here it worked perfectly' Kate Atkinson 'Laura Lippman understands perfectly the power of adolescent passions and how easily they spiral out of control. Read THE POWER OF THREE and despair of a world where guns are easier to come by than drugs' Val McDermid

About the Author

Before becoming a full time novelist, Laura Lippman was a newspaper reporter for 20 years, including 12 years at the BALTIMORE SUN. She lives in Baltimore with her partner, the writer David Simon.


Adult/High School-After fleeing a car accident, a middle-aged woman with no ID is questioned by both the police and hospital administration. Refusing to reveal her identity (and proof of health insurance), she instead hints that she is the younger of two sisters, Heather and Sunny Bethany, who disappeared the day before Easter in 1975. This gets everyone's attention. She knows both too much and not enough about the case, leading Baltimore police on wild goose chases to Pennsylvania and Georgia, saying just enough to stay out of jail and keep them interested, albeit suspicious. The narrative threads unravel into the various accounts of that Saturday's events, the aftermath of the disappearance, the investigation, and Heather's own increasingly desperate attempts to evade further disclosure. This novel is a page-turner. Tantalizing revelations are dropped at chapter ends before veering into another part of the narrative, back and forth in time. Characters are well defined and varied, each with a different perspective on the nature of grief. Ultimately, after all of the half-truths and deceptions are played out, unexpected but moving forgiveness wins out.-Jenny Gasset, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'Laura Lippman heightens the tension without any savagery or melodrama, while at the same time exploring the nature of family relationships in all their misery and necessity. WHAT THE DEAD KNOW is an impressive and engaging novel' -- Natasha Cooper TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'Taking a break from her Tess Monaghan series, Laura Lippman treats the sabbatical as a chance to produce something more testing, both for herself and the reader...stick with it, the reward is great.' SUNDAY TIMES 'Laura Lippman is best known for her excellent Tess Monaghan PI series, but she occasionally writes a stand-alone novel and What The Dead Know is one of her best' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Shamefully late in the day, I've caught up with the acclaimed US novelist Laura Lippman, and what a knock-out she is...This is a real riveting suspense - a humdinger of a book' DAILY MAIL 'Lippman's latest stand-alone novel is a really tantalising read with well rounded characters and unpredictable elements to the story. Lippman is a past-master at spinning the suspense and keeping us glued to the book' TANGLED WEB 'If you only know Laura Lippman from her Tess Monaghan series, or if you don't know her work at all, read "What the Dead Know." It's an all but flawless performance by a writer at the peak of her powers' WASHINGTON POST 'Laura Lippman's 'What the Dead Know' is an uncommonly clever impostor story, so cagily constructed that it easily fulfills the genre's two basic demands. First, Ms. Lippman is able to keep her reader guessing about the main character's disputed identity until the very end of this book. Second, when the revelation comes, it makes perfect sense, and it has been hiding in plain sight. This is not one of those mysteries with a denouement that feels tacked on, half baked or pulled out of thin air' NEW YORK TIMES In What the Dead Know, Lippman takes an imaginative leap and exercises a considerable amount of narrative ingenuity to solve the 30-year-old mystery of who abducted the two Bethany sisters from a Baltimore shopping mall - a crime suggested by a true-life event that gripped the city in 1975. All but forgotten when the story opens, the disappearance of 15-year-old Sunny and 11-year-old heather becomes an active police NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 'I defy anyone to guess the amazing twist to this story!' MY WEEKLY 'an excellent mystery and a thoughtful exploration of the nature and effects of grief and loss' -- Laura Wilson GUARDIAN 'I guarantee it is impossible to guess the end 'twist' - and yet the final revelation is completely believable. This is by far LIppman's best book yet' CRIME SQUAD 'this is one of her best works and is highly recommended' DEADLY PLEASURE

Edgar-winner Lippman, author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series (No Good Deeds, etc.), shows she's as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone. A driver who flees a car accident on a Maryland highway breathes new life into a 30-year-old mystery-the disappearance of the young Bethany sisters at a shopping mall-after she later tells the police she's one of the missing girls. As soon as the mystery woman drops that bombshell, she clams up, placing the new lead detective, Kevin Infante, in a bind, as he struggles to gain her trust while exploring the odd holes in her story. Deftly moving between past and present, Lippman presents the last day both sisters, Sunny and Heather, were seen alive from a variety of perspectives. Subtle clues point to the surprising but plausible solution of the crime and the identity of the mystery woman. Lippman, who has also won Shamus, Agatha, Anthony and Nero Wolfe awards, should gain many new fans with this superb effort. 9-city author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Baltimore County's Det. Kevin Infante (who partnered Sergeant Lenhardt in Lippman's To the Power of Three) investigates a hit-and-run in which the driver claims to be one of two sisters who had gone missing in 1975 and were presumed dead. Tight-lipped about what happened and where she's been, the woman is willing only to reveal bits and pieces of her story, none of which rings true to Infante, who must decide whether she is protecting herself because she's a victim or because she's a criminal. Told piecemeal and from multiple perspectives, Lippman's story crisscrosses time as she describes the Bethany sisters' abduction and its aftermath. Astute readers may ferret out the truth about the woman's claims before the big reveal, but this book is still well done. This standalone mystery featuring recurring characters is as heavy on the portrait of one Baltimore family as it is on the whodunit. Lippman fans are most likely to be pleased; recommended for all public libraries.--Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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