AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD


By Laura Lippman

William Morrow Paperbacks, reprint edition; June, 2013 ($14.99)

ISBN-13: 978-0062197733

Reviewed by Miriam Martinez

Helen Lewis had a childhood full of verbal and physical abuse from her father until, as a teenager, she got a boyfriend who introduced her to the life of prostitution. He was later sent to prison and Helen (who decided to change her name to Heloise) had a son. But, what no one imagines is that, behind that lovely widow and devoted mother, there is still a woman immersed in the world of prostitution who actually now manages her own escort service.

Heloise thinks she has all her life figured out until another so-called suburban madam is found dead in her car...apparently a suicide, but was it? Things start to fall apart and Heloise knows her secret is not safe anymore. Moreover, her son's father — who never knew he even had a son — is about to be released from prison and might come after her. Heloise knows that she needs to change names again and escape, but will she have enough time to do so? And how will she get to do it?

I think this book was not bad, but I am convinced it could have been better. The entire story is too predictable, and it is not the classic whodunit...you know everything since the beginning. Still, what is remarkable from Lippman's writing is how she leads the reader to understand the character's motivations by fully portraying the dysfunctional life she always led. Overall a good read, just not Lippman's best.

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