By Laura Lippman
Publisher: William Morrow (February, 2017)
Kindle edition: $9.99
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
In 1980, a close-knit group of friends in the bucolic community of Wilde Lake, Maryland, attended a graduation party near the lake. All was well until some uninvited guests showed up, accusing an African-American student of raping their sister. By the time the encounter was over, two young men were dead, the promising future of a gifted football star was over, and many souls were damaged.
Present day: Luisa “Lu” Brant is now the new state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job her widowed father once held. She jumps into the job with both feet, prosecuting a murder case that seems cut-and-dry. A homeless man broke into a young woman’s apartment and viciously attacked her. His fingerprints were in the apartment, his DNA is on her quilt, and he has a history of violence. It should be a cake-walk, but as Lu digs deeper into the man’s life, she starts to doubt her original assessment.
Even more troubling, she uncovers links between the man and her own family’s past. Does she really know what happened at the lake so long ago? Her beloved big brother AJ had been called a hero for saving his best friend’s life, while taking a life himself. His friend was crippled after being accused of committing a crime he swears he is not guilty of. The case was settled, the findings sealed, the end.
Lu soon realizes the past is not past at all. Everything she thought she knew about her life comes into question. Had her father and brother told her the truth about her mother’s death? Had her brother and his friends really been the victims on that long ago night? As she digs deeper, her findings threaten to turn her whole world upside down.
With this stand-alone novel, Laura Lippmann, the New York Times bestselling author, has created another masterpiece. The tightly woven plot keeps the reader turning pages, eager to see what happens next. The characters are multi-level; they are neither black or white, good or bad, but all shades in between. The author’s home state of Maryland becomes a character in the story, with just the right amount of historical detail woven in. Lippman, who also writes the popular Tess Gerritsen series, has another winner. Highly recommended.
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