I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Publisher: Harper Collins, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Source: TLC Book Tours
Summary from the Publisher:
Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects—or wants—to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.
In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her—and share the truth about his other victims.
The first time I picked up a Laura Lippman book I expected a mystery, with creepy serial killers, some blood and guts, and a crazy twist at the end of the book. And since that wasn't what I got, I came away from the book disappointed. Going into my second Lippman book I revised my expectations about what type of book I was getting, and this time it worked perfectly for me.
Lippman tells a captivating story, but her characters are really what stand out for me. She is able to perfectly capture a sullen teenager in Iso, a distant sister in Vonnie, and a conflicted mother in Eliza. And while I may not have always agreed with Eliza's decisions, I always understood why she did things. Understandably the story focused on Eliza and Walter, but I did wish some minor characters (like Eliza's husband, Peter) had played a slightly larger role.
The psychological thriller side of I'd Know You Anywhere had me hooked right from the beginning, and I think it would be a good choice for book clubs. I can imagine discussions around the central ethical issue of the death penalty as well as the character's motivations and actions. 4 stars, very good
Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned to her hometown in 1989 to work as a journalist. After writing seven books while still a full-time reporter, she left the Baltimore Sun to focus on fiction. The author of two New York Times bestsellers, What the Dead Know and Another Thing to Fall, she has won numerous awards for her work, including the Edgar, Quill, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity.
I’d Know You Anywhere is Laura Lippman’s 18th book.