Tuesday, September 25, 2012

{read: mystery} And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

Many people love the bestselling mystery author Laura Lippman and this August release is supposed to be a great read, but I was disappointed. I was expecting a mystery, a thriller, and a twisty plot in this standalone book. What I got was details about how a suburban Baltimore madam runs her business that bogged down the plot to the point where I would characterize this book more as fiction than mystery.

There was an interesting back story that I found more compelling than the present-day story, and I wondered if Lippman had to weigh the present story down with inner workings of the business side of prostitution to give her enough time to tell us the back story, since she switches back and forth between the two storylines. If so, I wish she had found another way to fill those pages. The back story was compelling, and I wanted the current story to keep up. Despite the high-profile cases in the news about other suburban madams, these sections ended up being boring reading. Finally, the ending was predictable. All in all, this was not one that I'd recommend if you're looking for a compelling page-turner or even a mystery.

Full disclosure: I haven't read any of Lippman's Tess Monaghan books, so I don't know how this compares. I did read her standalone novel Life Sentences a few years ago and enjoyed it.

For those of you keeping track, this is the first one I've finished on my fall TBR list. So far, I'm 0-1 in good reads.

And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman (William Morrow, 2012)
My rating: 2.5 stars

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