What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman


Lippman, L. What the Dead Know (2007). London. Orion paperback edition published in 2008. 456 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7528-9337-2.

The plot, based on a true case bearing no resemblance with the Bethany family, goes back to Eastern 1975 when two sisters, Sunny and Heather Bethany ages 15 and 11, disappeared from a Baltimore shopping mall on March 29. They were not seen again and their case was never solved.

Thirty years later a middle-aged woman cannot show any identification after a hit-and-run accident but she claims to be Heather, one of the Bethany sisters. Now the question is not only whether she is telling the truth, but what is she afraid of, what does she know of the Bethany case and why has she been silence for over thirty years. Detective Kevin Infante and his team investigate with a certain amount of skepticism although she seems to know details about the case that were never publicly released.

The story is narrated using extensive flashbacks during different time periods and from different points of view. A technique needed to put together the different pieces of this amazing puzzle that makes you wonder how they will fit together. All in all a great read and highly recommended.

Laura Lippman was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. She is mostly known for writing a series of novels set in Baltimore and featuring Tess Monaghan, a reporter turned private investigator. Lippman’s works have won the Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, Nero, Gumshoe and Shamus awards. What the Dead Know (2007) is a stand alone novel although some characters in this book will appear also in Every Secret Thing (2003) and To The Power of Three (2005). What the Dead Know was the first of her books to make the New York Times bestseller list, and was shortlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger Award.

See also:

I have read What the Dead Know as part of 2010 Global Reading Challenge.
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5 thoughts on “What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

  1. >Intriguing review, Jose! I have been wondering about this book for a while..I have read a few by this author but did not enjoy the last one of hers I read all that much. There was a "cheat" in it, too. But this one – you are tipping the balance…shall I have to add this to my ever-expanding pile of books to read?

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