Saturday, September 04, 2010

Required reading


Laura Lippman. If she's not on your must-read list, put her on it. Now.

The first books are the Tess Monaghan series, which is good. Then there are the stand-alones, which I think will be considered classics.

The latest is I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE. I just finished reading it and I'm in awe.

I've yammered for years about Ken Follet and THE KEY TO REBECCA and THE EYE OF NEEDLE. What knocked my sox off with those books is how Follet changes how we feel about characters so deftly we only realize it later. The character we think is the hero in KEY TO REBECCA, the first character we see, isn't. Only later, much later, do we realize that.

What Laura Lippman does is more nuanced: she makes us wonder about the characters. We think Eliza is one thing, then we start wondering if maybe she's something else. Walter is the bad guy... right? This sense of wanting to find out about the characters kept me turning pages. And because Laura Lippman is a brilliant writer I not only found out, I was surprised by the ending and not disappointed at what I found out.

I think this book should be required reading for every writer.

12 comments:

Laraine Eddington said...

Oooo, downloading on the kindle pronto.

Angela Robbins said...

sounds intriguing, will have to check them out.

Philangelus said...

I requested it from my library. I'm hold number 112, so apparently you have good taste. ;-)

Julie Musil said...

I pushed it to the top of my list! Thanks

Steve Ulfelder said...

In the new issue of The Writer, Hallie Ephron does a typically excellent Q&A with Lippman.

L.C. Gant said...

I'm vaguely familiar with Ken Follet, but I've never heard of Laura Lippman, and I haven't read either of their works. This post just put both of them at the top of my TBR list.

Interesting how you gave us just enough information to peak my interest while withholding enough so that I still don't know what the books are about. Love it! Thanks a bunch :-)

Ann Best said...

I'm going to look into this one. Thanks!
Ann

Jan Markley said...

Sounds like a great read!

Jude Hardin said...

Love Laura. I haven't read this one yet, but it's definitely on my list.

Tawna Fenske said...

Thanks for the tip. I've loved Lippman's Tess Monaghan series, and also adored both Follet books you've mentioned (especially EYE OF THE NEEDLE) so I feel pretty confident adding this book to my TBR pile. Thank you!

Tawna

Cat Schield said...

She's awesome. I've been reading her for years. I'm going to make sure I bump this one up my TBR pile.

Salted with Shadows said...

I just read a story collection of hers called "Hardly Knew Her" and really admired her writing. I'm excited to read this new one.