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New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan must solve one of the most baffling murders in her PI career.

When Tess Monaghan agrees to talk to Ruthie Dembrow, she senses she’ll regret it. If there’s anything Tess has learned in her work both as a newspaper reporter and then as a PI, it’s to trust your instincts. Still, she can’t deny she’s intrigued when Ruthie asks her to investigate the fatal stabbing of her brother, Henry, while he was locked away for murdering a teenage runaway over a bottle of glue. Henry’s death at the hands of fellow convicts doesn’t surprise Tess, but what does is that he was convicted for murdering a “Jane Doe”—something that rarely happens in the judicial system.

No ID was found on the victim’s body, and her fingerprints didn’t match up to any in the national database. How could anyone escape all the identity nets of the modern world? Ruthie is convinced if she learns the identity of her brother’s victim, maybe she can also find out why he was killed.

Tess’s search takes her on a harrowing journey from Baltimore’s exclusive Inner Harbor to the seedy neighborhood of Locust Point. But it’s the shocking discovery of the runaway’s true identity that turns Tess’s hunt deadly. Suddenly, her supposedly solved murder case keeps turning up newer, fresher corpses and scarier versions of the Sugar House—places that look so sweet and safe, but only from the outside.

Topics: Private Investigators, Murder, Women Detectives, Runaways, Baltimore, Maryland, Series, Eating Disorders, and Fathers

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061808746
List price: $9.99
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Private investigator Tess Monaghan takes a case as a favor to her father and is soon wrapped up in corruption involving local politicians. I like the character of Tess, who is outspoken and impulsive, but believable as a woman working in a tough field. The resolution of the mystery involved a few too many coincidences, but it was certainly entertaining. A scene where Tess is literally under gunfire is excitingly written. A good page-turner.more
In this fifth mystery of the Tess Monaghan detective series, Tess is now thirty, with plenty of business in her private detective agency, and back together with her boyfriend “Crow.” She takes on a case as a favor to her father, who is friends with the client, Ruthie Dembrow. Ruthie wants to know what really happened a year before when her brother Henry allegedly killed a nameless girl and went to prison. Henry himself was killed just a month after going to prison in somewhat suspicious circumstances. Ruthie is convinced there is more to the story than just coincidence.Tess, with detective help from Crow and her best friend Whitney, gets plunged into the dangerous world of politics, prostitution rings, corruption, blackmail, and murder. Evaluation: Tess is getting better as a detective, but otherwise her flaws remain legion: she is much too outspoken, quick to jump to conclusions, somewhat self-absorbed, and defensive all the time. She is also funny, loyal, loving, and smart. Tess Monaghan, her friends, and her family, are very likeable characters, and Lippman is a very likeable writer.more
In this book in the series, Tess is investigating a young girl's death and the death of the young man who confessed to killing her. The trail leads her into some dark places, and puts those she loves in danger.more
Apparently, I just didn't read this book under the right circumstances. I was very distracted at the time and I thought she didn't build it very well at all. When the resolution was revealed, I had to re-read it to figure out what actually happened and why and it still wasn't very satisfying. That said, I did enjoy the writing and characterization. Tess is a very real character (which makes the all-too-perfect Crow a little hard to swallow) and I like Lippman's Tess books better than her stand-alones.more
Read all 6 reviews

Reviews

Private investigator Tess Monaghan takes a case as a favor to her father and is soon wrapped up in corruption involving local politicians. I like the character of Tess, who is outspoken and impulsive, but believable as a woman working in a tough field. The resolution of the mystery involved a few too many coincidences, but it was certainly entertaining. A scene where Tess is literally under gunfire is excitingly written. A good page-turner.more
In this fifth mystery of the Tess Monaghan detective series, Tess is now thirty, with plenty of business in her private detective agency, and back together with her boyfriend “Crow.” She takes on a case as a favor to her father, who is friends with the client, Ruthie Dembrow. Ruthie wants to know what really happened a year before when her brother Henry allegedly killed a nameless girl and went to prison. Henry himself was killed just a month after going to prison in somewhat suspicious circumstances. Ruthie is convinced there is more to the story than just coincidence.Tess, with detective help from Crow and her best friend Whitney, gets plunged into the dangerous world of politics, prostitution rings, corruption, blackmail, and murder. Evaluation: Tess is getting better as a detective, but otherwise her flaws remain legion: she is much too outspoken, quick to jump to conclusions, somewhat self-absorbed, and defensive all the time. She is also funny, loyal, loving, and smart. Tess Monaghan, her friends, and her family, are very likeable characters, and Lippman is a very likeable writer.more
In this book in the series, Tess is investigating a young girl's death and the death of the young man who confessed to killing her. The trail leads her into some dark places, and puts those she loves in danger.more
Apparently, I just didn't read this book under the right circumstances. I was very distracted at the time and I thought she didn't build it very well at all. When the resolution was revealed, I had to re-read it to figure out what actually happened and why and it still wasn't very satisfying. That said, I did enjoy the writing and characterization. Tess is a very real character (which makes the all-too-perfect Crow a little hard to swallow) and I like Lippman's Tess books better than her stand-alones.more
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