Laura Lippman remains one of my favorite American authors, and i’d know you anywhere (sic) confirms why I feel this way.

The author of the Tess Monaghan series, Lippman’s stand-alones are linked only by the depths she plumbs of the emotional  lives of her characters. This time Lippman serves up the story of Eliza Benedict, absorbed in her peaceful, suburban life, mother of two, with a successful husband whose job has brought them home to the US after five years of living in England.  But Eliza was once Elizabeth, kidnapped by Walter Bowman and held hostage  when she was fifteen for almost six weeks. Eliza know for certain that Walter had killed at least one other girl but always suspected there were other victims.

Her quiet life is interrupted when Walter’s death row sentence nears and he contacts her. Desperate to shelter her children from her past trauma until she chooses to tell them about it, she knows Walter well enough to know that ignoring him means he will ruin her peaceful existence and taint her family. He claims he just wants to see her before he’s put to death. Eliza has always wondered why Walter let her live, and now he adds to the enticement of that knowledge, dangling the promise of telling her about the other victims in exchange for her visit, bringing closure to the families who wonder where their daughters are.

Lippman manages to explore all sides of the death penalty through various characters, even as she captures the reader in a story of psychological manipulation that will keep you turning pages to the bitter end.

Don’t miss this story from an author writing at the height of her talent.