20 April 2013

Book Review: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

Although it felt that nothing happened for long stretches of this novel, when things did happen they were executed perfectly. You may think this would lead to a boring read, but And When She Was Good is far from boring.

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In the comfortable suburb where she lives, Heloise is just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses her son's soccer games or school plays.

But in discrete hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams - if you can afford her hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed her unorthodox life to be a safe one; rigidly compartmentalized, maintaining no real friendships and trusting very few people. But now this secret life is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions about her business. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can no longer be trusted. Her ex, the one who doesn't know he's the father of her son, is appealing his life sentence. And, one county over, another so-called 'suburban madam' has been found dead in her car, an apparent suicide...

Can Heloise stay alive long enough to remake her life again, and save her son? Can she really expect to leave everything else behind?

Amazon UK | Amazon US

Source: NetGalley

5 Words: Secrets, lies, trust, survival, deception.

The main character, Helen/Heloise (Hel?) seems so sure of herself for the majority of this book, and I would be lying if I didn't admit that the ending was the best part - but that's because Hel stopped being so superior and aloof and putting everyone down. It took her being out-smarted - seriously out-smarted - to seemingly get a grip.

When it comes to other characters, they seem a little like an afterthought. Hel's father made my blood boil and I guess that's why she is how she is. He is a nasty and selfish man who quickly engendered feelings of hatred from me, as I am sure he was meant to. Hel's mother seemed quite timid and unsure - she was so in love, but with that monster? It didn't seem to fit that she could be that naive for her whole life.

Overall I thought it a good enough read. It's not one of my favourites and for being a mystery there isn't much mystery at all, but it was nevertheless enjoyable and interesting.

What's your favourite mystery?


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