My thoughts: I have read a few of Laura Lippman’s books and I can definitely say that this one is different from her usual style. It’s set in the 1960s and it involves a ghost. It tackles multiple issues such as religion, politics, and race but it’s still a mystery at heart.
Madeleine “Maddie” Schwarz recently upended her life by leaving her husband and role as a housewife in order to live a life full of passion and meaning. After helping the Baltimore police find the body of a missing girl, Maddie takes a job at the city paper, the Star. Maddie becomes very interested in finding out what really happened to Cleo Sherwood, a young African-American woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake. What Maddie doesn’t know is that her investigation will uncover some powerful and dangerous secrets.
Each chapter is told from a different point of view and there are a lot of different POVs in this book. Some may find this style difficult to get used to. It took me a bit to get comfortable with it but once I did I thought it kept the story moving at a good pace. I will say that a couple of the characters’ POVs didn’t add much to the plot but they were brief.
The story is well told and unique. I think it was full of intrigue and very enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction, mystery, and multiple POVs.
About Lady in the Lake
• Hardcover: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (July 23, 2019)
The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman.
In 1966, Baltimore is a city of secrets that everyone seems to know—everyone, that is, except Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz. Last year, she was a happy, even pampered housewife. This year, she’s bolted from her marriage of almost twenty years, determined to make good on her youthful ambitions to live a passionate, meaningful life.
Maddie wants to matter, to leave her mark on a swiftly changing world. Drawing on her own secrets, she helps Baltimore police find a murdered girl—assistance that leads to a job at the city’s afternoon newspaper, the Star. Working at the newspaper offers Maddie the opportunity to make her name, and she has found just the story to do it: a missing woman whose body was discovered in the fountain of a city park lake.
Cleo Sherwood was a young African-American woman who liked to have a good time. No one seems to know or care why she was killed except Maddie—and the dead woman herself. Maddie’s going to find the truth about Cleo’s life and death. Cleo’s ghost, privy to Maddie’s poking and prying, wants to be left alone.
Maddie’s investigation brings her into contact with people that used to be on the periphery of her life—a jewelry store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore Orioles, a patrol cop, a hardened female reporter, a lonely man in a movie theater. But for all her ambition and drive, Maddie often fails to see the people right in front of her. Her inability to look beyond her own needs will lead to tragedy and turmoil for all sorts of people—including the man who shares her bed, a black police officer who cares for Maddie more than she knows.
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About Laura Lippman
Since Laura Lippman’s debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the “essential” crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.