Friday, March 5, 2010

Review: Life Sentences by Laura Lippman

Book Info:
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 10, 2009)
ISBN: 0061128899
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Tours
Rating: 3/5 stars

Author Cassandra Fallows has achieved remarkable success by baring her life on the page. Her two widely popular memoirs continue to sell briskly, acclaimed for their brutal, unexpurgated candor about friends, family, lovers— -- and herself. But now, after a singularly unsuccessful stab at fiction, Cassandra believes she may have found the story that will enable her triumphant return to nonfiction.

Laura Lippman is an author that I have been meaning to read for quite some time. I've got a few books from her Tess Monaghan series and have heard great things about What the Dead Know. When the opportunity came up to review Life Sentences I jumped at the chance.

I had a hard time keeping the characters straight in the beginning, but I blame this more on being a sleep deprived new mom than on Lippman's writing. My favorite aspect of the book was the the focus on how different people will perceive the same situation.

Callie was a bit of an enigma. She was the character everyone was trying to understand, and yet even by the end of the book she was still a mystery to me. Her actions were explained, but I was expecting something else, something bigger.

I think was expecting a bit more mystery in the book. Lippman seemed to be going for some suspense, without actually turning the book into a 'whodunit' type book. There was a big buildup near the end of the book, but I didn't find that the ending supported all the hype.

I didn't fall in love with Life Sentences, but will still be checking out Lippman's other books, especially What The Dead Know. 3 stars


avisannschild said...

I'm sorry to hear you didn't love this one more! I love books that focus on how different people perceive the same situation and I really enjoyed What the Dead Know (although it's not a traditional mystery either), so I'll definitely be giving this one a try too.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've heard alot about Lippman's books as well, but have never tried one. Perhaps I will start with one of the Tess series.

Zibilee said...

I think I liked this one a bit more than you did. This was my first read by Lippman, but I also think I might try out one in the Tess series. Great honesty in this review.

trish said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like Life Sentences more! I would definitely recommend What the Dead Know, though it's more literary fiction than mystery. Her earlier works are more strictly mysteries.

Thanks for being on this tour!

teabird said...

Sounds almost Rashomon-like, and I do think I'd like it. I love experiencing different views of one person or one situation. Great review!

Suko said...

I haven't yet read anything by this author but your review piques me interest. Thanks!

Lisa said...

I really enjoyed What the Dead Know, even if I found it strained my suspension of disbelief a little. This one sounds interesting, though - thanks for the review.

Hannah Stoneham said...

Interesting sounding book although it is ashame that it didn't grab you. i am enjoying discovering your blog!


Marie Cloutier said...

Sorry it didn't work out as well as you'd hoped. I hope her other books do better for you :-)

Unknown said...

I'm intrigued by the book's main idea. And I like the cover a lot.