In award winning author Laura Lippman’s stand-alone mystery, What the dead know, a middle-aged woman is involved in an accident on the Baltimore Beltway and flees the scene.
Later she is picked up wandering on the shoulder of the Interstate.
In the hospital the woman refuses to reveal her name but claims that she is Heather Bethany one of two sisters who disappeared from a shopping mall 30 years ago.
For years Heather, if she is Heather, has been living under different assumed names.
Why has she decided to reveal herself?
And why does every clue Heather gives the police wind up in a dead-end — an incoherent dying man, a house that is no longer there and a missing grave.
With her usual skill Laura Lippman unravels the layers of Heather’s past until the reader is finally told what really happened to Heather and Sunny on that fateful day 30 years ago.
Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. Edgar-winner Lippman, author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series (No Good Deeds, etc.), shows she’s as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone.
Deftly moving between past and present, Lippman presents the last day both sisters, Sunny and Heather, were seen alive from a variety of perspectives.
Subtle clues point to the surprising but plausible solution of the crime and the identity of the mystery woman.
School Library Journal: The narrative threads unravel into the various accounts of that Saturday’s events, the aftermath of the disappearance, the investigation, and Heather’s own increasingly desperate attempts to evade further disclosure.
This novel is a page-turner. Tantalizing revelations are dropped at chapter ends before veering into another part of the narrative, back and forth in time.
Characters are well defined and varied, each with a different perspective on the nature of grief. Ultimately, after all of the half-truths and deceptions are played out, unexpected but moving forgiveness wins out.–Jenny Gasset, Orange County Public Library, CA
There are, of course, an infinite number of places where one is not, yet only one place where one actually is.
— Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know