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Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who—or what—could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been? Why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead end—a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household.

In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?

Topics: Kidnapping, Baltimore, Maryland, 1970s, Suspenseful, Psychological, Sisters, Missing Persons, Murder, Family, Police, Secrets, Death, and Female Author

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061796784
List price: $10.99
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I love Laura Lippman--and always enjoy reading her mysteries set in the Baltimore area. Wish I hadn't guessed the ending, though.more
People have been raving about Laura Lippmann's stand-alones, but I actually prefer her series. However, this one certainly held my interest and was well-plotted, even though I guessed the ending well in advance.more
In 1975 two teenage sisters, Sunny and Heather Bethany, disappeared from a Baltimore shopping mall one Saturday afternoon. Despite a lengthy police investigation no trace of the girls was ever found. Their parents, Miriam and Dave, cope as best they can but the event changes the course of both their lives. Fast forward to the present day and, in the aftermath of a car accident, a woman claims that she is the missing Heather Bethany. Due to some inconsistencies in her story and their inability to confirm any of the facts that she gives them, police aren’t convinced she is who she claims to be.

Reading this book was a frustrating experience. As happened when I saw the movie The Sixth SenseI worked out very early on the twist that would come at the end spent the rest of the time wondering why the heck no one else could see it. Most of the time having worked out the end doesn’t impact my enjoyment of a book as there are many other things to occupy my mind: other plot threads, character development and so on. Here though it hindered my reading as I found it quite unbelievable that no one involved in the story ever voiced the possibility that was so blindingly obvious to me. Plots like this rely on keeping the reader guessing and I wasn’t (guessing that is). Every new revelation just cemented what I had already worked out and so I was bored by the chapters focusing on the present day investigation into the woman claiming to be Heather.

On other levels the book worked. I enjoyed the structure of it for example. The criss-crossing between a range of time frames was well done and although it didn’t follow any recognisable pattern it wasn’t confusing. We learned a lot about Heather and Sunny’s childhoods, the lives of their parents following the girls’ disappearance and a little about the woman who may, or may not, be the adult Heather. We also saw glimpses of the people who investigated the case, both at the time of the disappearance and in the present day, although this was by no means a police procedural.

Some of the characters were stunningly developed: in particular Miriam and Dave the parents of the two girls and, for me, the revelation of the various facets of their personalities and lives both before and after the disappearance of their children was the highlight of the book. Lippman portrays two very different ways that people involved in the same horror might deal with it and both are equally credible. When Miriam wonders which event in her life prior to the day of the disappearance she might go back to and change for the entire thing to have been avoided I could feel the genuine agony that thought would cause as it played a never-ending loop in a parent’s mind. The rest of the characters though weren’t nearly as interesting.

Even putting aside the fact I wasn’t terribly engaged by the plot I’m not entirely sure why this book has generated so much awards fuss. For me it was pretty much a middle of the pack read with occasional sparks of real interest
more
A woman has been involved in an accident and tries to leave the scene. When confronted by the police, she claims to be one of the two Bethany girls who had been kidnapped thirty years ago. Once she makes this claim, she suddenly clams up, forcing a new investigation into the long buried mystery of what actually happened to the girls.more
I enjoyed this book. It might not be may favorite book of all time but I adore her writing. I am reading another one of her books at the moment and I am enjoying it more than I did this one. There is something about her writing that keeps me going. Her characters are not the most likable people, but her writing it what sucks you in. I am glad she was recommended on here or I never would have found her. I LOVE this site.more
A woman involved in a car accident claims to be Heather Bethany, one of the two teenaged sisters who went missing 32 years earlier. She has credible information, including details not released publicly, but something is amiss, especially because she is reticent to reveal much about her present life. A police officer, Kevin Infante, remains skeptical and sets out, with the assistance of others, to find out the truth. The fact that many of the people who could corroborate “Heather’s” story are dead complicates the investigation.What I enjoyed about the book is that the reader is kept guessing about “Heather’s” identity. The clues are there, but there are also plenty of red herrings. What is also great is that when the revelation comes, everything makes perfect sense. Readers who don’t realize the truth before the reveal will be slapping themselves. The story moves back and forth in time. The details of the investigation are given in the present, but there are flashbacks to the disappearance and to what happened to Dave and Miriam, the grieving parents, afterwards. We get to know most of the characters in detail, including their secrets.For those who enjoy mysteries, I would certainly recommend this book and this author.more
Compelling, good paced mystery with well-drawn and fun characters, lots of red herrings and wit. Very good read!more
Two sisters are kidnapped from a mall, and 30 years later one of them returns to her hometown--or is she a faker? And to what end? The book is compelling until the very end. The solution is something of a cheat and raises more questions than it answers.more
I was a little bit disapointed this story. Lippman didn't tell us characters of Infante, Miriam and Gloria.It's very hard for me to read through this book.more
I really enjoyed this book, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the riddle. Who is this girl? Is she really Heather? Like other great authors, Lippman doesn't tell until the very very end, and throws in such a twist that you never saw it coming. Absolutley fabulous!more
Rare is a book that can make me say I couldn't put it down. Laura Lippman was able to do just that with her compelling novel about the Bethany sisters Heather and Sunny. Her style of switching back and forth not only from character to character point of view but from present to past made for an easy stay on the edge of your seat feel. The only disappointment [if you can even call it such] would have to be the lackluster ending. For a novel that kept you wanting to know what was really going on and what really happened to the Bethany sisters, what was given as an answer left me feeling as though it was a couldn’t think of a better so here you go type ending. All in all I look forward to reading more from Laura Lippmanmore
Laura Lippman writes wonderful mysteries set in Baltimore, where I lived for several years. I'm pretty sure I would love her writing anyway, but they're even better if you have a Baltimore connection. Highly recommendedmore
Laura Lippman writes a mystery series described as "chick lit with guns," and that is about as far from my genre of choice as you can get. But facing a long drive and a paucity of choices, I picked up this audiobook - a standalone, not part of the series - and I really enjoyed it. So shame on snobby me.The heart of the story is a question of identity. At the start of the novel, a woman has a traffic accident and tells the police that she is one of the Bethany Girls, two sisters who disappeared from their suburban Maryland home in 1975. Is she telling the truth? If not, why would she lie? Through flashbacks, and through the perspective of different characters, We learn the story of the Bethany girls' family life and their parents' troubled marriage. This is a good mystery, tightly constructed and psychologically interesting, in the vein of a Barbara Vine novel. The different narrative voices are all convincing. The solution to the mystery is satisfying and fair to the reader. I would definitely read her again, although I'll still forego the chick-lit series.more
Overall a good book. Interesting story line. Not one of the best mysteries I've read, but definitely enjoyable.more
I enjoyed this book less than previous mysteries by Lippman that I've read. I believe the author tips her hand early regarding the true identify of the protagonist, and the long, slow, unraveling of this information by other actors that are not very interesting in themselves keeps the dramatic tension at a low level. Just an average mystery, and not as good as Lippman's Tess Monaghan series.more
I recommend only books that I found not-put-downable, and I recommend What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. This book came with me to the dinner table, and I didn't put it down to go to sleep but fell asleep with it in my lap (so lost my place and left the light on). It's not great literature, but I enjoyed it. What the Dead Know is about a woman who claims to be one of two sisters who disappeared in 1975, the five-day investigation into her story, and memories. She's so mysterious, you'll be trying to figure her out and changing what you think every couple of pages. Good bookmore
An Excellent Suspenseful Read! I really enjoy a great mystery novel and my friend recommended this book. The main character "Heather" was sort of a ringer. Normally, if the author is skilled in their writing I will find myself rooting for this character, but that didn't happen until near the end of the story which was a little late. While I'm on the subject of the ending, well it was a bit of a let down. But I don't want to give the impression that this was a terrible novel, because it wasn't. The plot will keep you reading page after page and it's certainly an excellent, suspenseful read.more
Lippman writes a mystery that will stay with you long after you have finished the last page. This story starts wtih a hit-and-run car accident, the perpetrator claiming in her dazed confusion she is one of the Bethany girls, girls who went missing years and years ago from a mall not too far from the scene of the accident. Is she who she claims to be? The detectives aren't sure, but she does know something about the abduction. Although none of the characters will earn your sympathy, necessarily, Lippman draws them in an authentic way that will make you want to know how their stories resolve. Recommended for those who like mysteries with more than just plot.more
A page turner that keeps you guessing.more
A riveting mystery with a fabulous conclusion and unlikeable characters.more
what a brilliant read - no really it is... it is! Starts off not with a bang more a whimper but as the chapters float by, and it only takes a few of them but honestly it will get you hooked in. You keep wondering, you can't stop yourself thinking, 'yes, she is who she says she is'. Then the your yes switches to No! No way and then back again to yes and then just when you think you've got it all figured out something else happen. Like I say I found it a brilliant read and I think you will too!more
WHAT is this book about?In 1975, two sisters―15-year-old Sunny Bethany and 11-year-old Heather Bethany―disappear at a local Baltimore shopping mall. Thirty years later, a woman flees the scene of a car accident near Baltimore and, when found, claims to be the youngest Bethany sister. Police aren’t quite sure what to make of her claim due to her reluctance to provide identification or health insurance information. Although she seems to know a lot of details about the case, all of the information she provides results in dead-ends that cannot be verified.WHO do we meet?* Miriam and Dave Bethany are Sunny and Heather’s parents. When the girls disappear, their already shaky marriage falls apart as their grief pulls them in two different directions. Dave―who has always dominated the family with his ideas on how things should be―cannot give up the hope that the girls will be found. He stays in the family home―waiting for answers that never come. Miriam, on the other hand, needs to move away in order to escape the tragedy. Her journey eventually takes her to Mexico, where she creates a quiet life for herself―a life where no one knows about her daughters’ disappearance.* Kevin Infante is a twice-divorced womanizer and the detective assigned to determine if the woman from the car accident really is Heather Bethany. Frustrated by Heather’s stonewalling and leads that don’t answer any of his questions, Infante turns to the original investigator, Chet Willoughby (who now lives in an assisted living center) for assistance. For Willoughby, the Bethany case and its lack of closure haunts him. The opportunity to find out what happened is tantalizing but threatening at the same time―what had he missed during the first investigation?* Kay is the social worker who tries to help Heather deal with her current legal problems―from helping her to find a lawyer to providing a place to stay. Struggling to stay uninvolved, Kay finds herself questioning her own motives and some of Heather’s actions.WHEN and WHERE does the book take place?The book jumps back and forth in time from the present day investigation to the 1975 disappearance and its aftermath. Lippman writes from multiple viewpoints―including Dave, Miriam, Kay, Heather, Infante and Willoughby. This mosaic-like approach is effective in providing the reader with bits and pieces of the mystery as we read along while also providing insights into the minds of the various characters. The bulk of the book takes place in and around Baltimore.WHY should you read this book?If you like mysteries that emphasize character development, this would probably be a good choice for you. It isn’t your standard “murder mystery” in that you aren’t really looking to figure out who the killer is. Rather, the mystery is whether the woman claiming to be Heather Bethany is who she says she is and what really happened to the sisters on the day of their disappearance. I thought Lippman did a good job providing bits and pieces of the mystery to keep you interested without giving too much away too soon. I also appreciated that she took the time to develop her characters―although I’m not sure I would want Kevin Infante being assigned to a case I was involved in! Based on this book, I would definitely read another Lippman book.more
In 1975 two young woman were kidnapped from a local mall. Their bodes were never located. All leads came to a standstill.Now, thirty years later an adult woman involved in a car accident claims to be one of the Bethany sisters who were abducted.373 long, slow, arduous pages later we discover if the adult woman is indeed one of the missing sisters, or if it is all a hoax.The characters are well developed, the story is intriguing and the book held my interest enough to finish. But, the writing was labored.I simply don't like the hide the pea under the shell flip flop of switching characters and stories wherein the reader never really knows if the author is challenging, or trying to fool.more
While I enjoyed the plot and the mystery kept me readin, it was slow going. The story seemed to meander along, never really picking up any speed. It jumped from character to character and from time period to time period, Just didn't flow very well. Very intriguing mystery, though.more
Well-written book, but it took me no time whatsoever to figure out the mystery.more
I liked this book, but it could have been better. With the switching between times and characters I sometimes found it hard to figure out what was going on at times. I also thought the solution to the problem was a little unsatisfying. The main character was pretty unlikeable. All that being said, I was entertained and I would probably try this author again.more
Thirty years ago the Bethany sisters disappeared from a local shopping mall and were never found. Now, after suffering a head injury in a traffic accident just a few miles from the mall, a woman claims to be the younger sister. Can it be true, or just a cruel hoax? Not part of the Tess Monaghan series. Lippman deftly weaves past and present to tell the story from multiple view points. Highly recommend.more
Sparse, lean, and mean; gimlet-eyed with minimal frippery and self-satisfied showiness. Effortlessly slides from one character to another to triangulate the heart of a small, infinitely-cruel little crime.more
This excellent novel about two missing girls kept me guessing all the way to the powerful and riveting conclusion. Lippman is a wonderful writer, and I found myself unable to put this book down until I read it all the way through. The tragic tale of two girls who disappeared one afternoon and the effect that disappearance had on the lives of those around them is wrapped up the gradual unraveling of the truth behind that afternoon, and the many shadings of guilt that surround Heather and Bethany's disappearance. Despite bouncing between perspectives and time, this novel never loses momentum; Lippman keeps the tension building as the story rockets toward the truth. Highly recommended.more
I'm not actually sure if this was a good book or not, which sound silly. I think it could have benefited from a little tightening.However, the plot is certainly compelling, and chances are you won't guess the ending till you get there. A page-turner.more
Read all 64 reviews

Reviews

I love Laura Lippman--and always enjoy reading her mysteries set in the Baltimore area. Wish I hadn't guessed the ending, though.more
People have been raving about Laura Lippmann's stand-alones, but I actually prefer her series. However, this one certainly held my interest and was well-plotted, even though I guessed the ending well in advance.more
In 1975 two teenage sisters, Sunny and Heather Bethany, disappeared from a Baltimore shopping mall one Saturday afternoon. Despite a lengthy police investigation no trace of the girls was ever found. Their parents, Miriam and Dave, cope as best they can but the event changes the course of both their lives. Fast forward to the present day and, in the aftermath of a car accident, a woman claims that she is the missing Heather Bethany. Due to some inconsistencies in her story and their inability to confirm any of the facts that she gives them, police aren’t convinced she is who she claims to be.

Reading this book was a frustrating experience. As happened when I saw the movie The Sixth SenseI worked out very early on the twist that would come at the end spent the rest of the time wondering why the heck no one else could see it. Most of the time having worked out the end doesn’t impact my enjoyment of a book as there are many other things to occupy my mind: other plot threads, character development and so on. Here though it hindered my reading as I found it quite unbelievable that no one involved in the story ever voiced the possibility that was so blindingly obvious to me. Plots like this rely on keeping the reader guessing and I wasn’t (guessing that is). Every new revelation just cemented what I had already worked out and so I was bored by the chapters focusing on the present day investigation into the woman claiming to be Heather.

On other levels the book worked. I enjoyed the structure of it for example. The criss-crossing between a range of time frames was well done and although it didn’t follow any recognisable pattern it wasn’t confusing. We learned a lot about Heather and Sunny’s childhoods, the lives of their parents following the girls’ disappearance and a little about the woman who may, or may not, be the adult Heather. We also saw glimpses of the people who investigated the case, both at the time of the disappearance and in the present day, although this was by no means a police procedural.

Some of the characters were stunningly developed: in particular Miriam and Dave the parents of the two girls and, for me, the revelation of the various facets of their personalities and lives both before and after the disappearance of their children was the highlight of the book. Lippman portrays two very different ways that people involved in the same horror might deal with it and both are equally credible. When Miriam wonders which event in her life prior to the day of the disappearance she might go back to and change for the entire thing to have been avoided I could feel the genuine agony that thought would cause as it played a never-ending loop in a parent’s mind. The rest of the characters though weren’t nearly as interesting.

Even putting aside the fact I wasn’t terribly engaged by the plot I’m not entirely sure why this book has generated so much awards fuss. For me it was pretty much a middle of the pack read with occasional sparks of real interest
more
A woman has been involved in an accident and tries to leave the scene. When confronted by the police, she claims to be one of the two Bethany girls who had been kidnapped thirty years ago. Once she makes this claim, she suddenly clams up, forcing a new investigation into the long buried mystery of what actually happened to the girls.more
I enjoyed this book. It might not be may favorite book of all time but I adore her writing. I am reading another one of her books at the moment and I am enjoying it more than I did this one. There is something about her writing that keeps me going. Her characters are not the most likable people, but her writing it what sucks you in. I am glad she was recommended on here or I never would have found her. I LOVE this site.more
A woman involved in a car accident claims to be Heather Bethany, one of the two teenaged sisters who went missing 32 years earlier. She has credible information, including details not released publicly, but something is amiss, especially because she is reticent to reveal much about her present life. A police officer, Kevin Infante, remains skeptical and sets out, with the assistance of others, to find out the truth. The fact that many of the people who could corroborate “Heather’s” story are dead complicates the investigation.What I enjoyed about the book is that the reader is kept guessing about “Heather’s” identity. The clues are there, but there are also plenty of red herrings. What is also great is that when the revelation comes, everything makes perfect sense. Readers who don’t realize the truth before the reveal will be slapping themselves. The story moves back and forth in time. The details of the investigation are given in the present, but there are flashbacks to the disappearance and to what happened to Dave and Miriam, the grieving parents, afterwards. We get to know most of the characters in detail, including their secrets.For those who enjoy mysteries, I would certainly recommend this book and this author.more
Compelling, good paced mystery with well-drawn and fun characters, lots of red herrings and wit. Very good read!more
Two sisters are kidnapped from a mall, and 30 years later one of them returns to her hometown--or is she a faker? And to what end? The book is compelling until the very end. The solution is something of a cheat and raises more questions than it answers.more
I was a little bit disapointed this story. Lippman didn't tell us characters of Infante, Miriam and Gloria.It's very hard for me to read through this book.more
I really enjoyed this book, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the riddle. Who is this girl? Is she really Heather? Like other great authors, Lippman doesn't tell until the very very end, and throws in such a twist that you never saw it coming. Absolutley fabulous!more
Rare is a book that can make me say I couldn't put it down. Laura Lippman was able to do just that with her compelling novel about the Bethany sisters Heather and Sunny. Her style of switching back and forth not only from character to character point of view but from present to past made for an easy stay on the edge of your seat feel. The only disappointment [if you can even call it such] would have to be the lackluster ending. For a novel that kept you wanting to know what was really going on and what really happened to the Bethany sisters, what was given as an answer left me feeling as though it was a couldn’t think of a better so here you go type ending. All in all I look forward to reading more from Laura Lippmanmore
Laura Lippman writes wonderful mysteries set in Baltimore, where I lived for several years. I'm pretty sure I would love her writing anyway, but they're even better if you have a Baltimore connection. Highly recommendedmore
Laura Lippman writes a mystery series described as "chick lit with guns," and that is about as far from my genre of choice as you can get. But facing a long drive and a paucity of choices, I picked up this audiobook - a standalone, not part of the series - and I really enjoyed it. So shame on snobby me.The heart of the story is a question of identity. At the start of the novel, a woman has a traffic accident and tells the police that she is one of the Bethany Girls, two sisters who disappeared from their suburban Maryland home in 1975. Is she telling the truth? If not, why would she lie? Through flashbacks, and through the perspective of different characters, We learn the story of the Bethany girls' family life and their parents' troubled marriage. This is a good mystery, tightly constructed and psychologically interesting, in the vein of a Barbara Vine novel. The different narrative voices are all convincing. The solution to the mystery is satisfying and fair to the reader. I would definitely read her again, although I'll still forego the chick-lit series.more
Overall a good book. Interesting story line. Not one of the best mysteries I've read, but definitely enjoyable.more
I enjoyed this book less than previous mysteries by Lippman that I've read. I believe the author tips her hand early regarding the true identify of the protagonist, and the long, slow, unraveling of this information by other actors that are not very interesting in themselves keeps the dramatic tension at a low level. Just an average mystery, and not as good as Lippman's Tess Monaghan series.more
I recommend only books that I found not-put-downable, and I recommend What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. This book came with me to the dinner table, and I didn't put it down to go to sleep but fell asleep with it in my lap (so lost my place and left the light on). It's not great literature, but I enjoyed it. What the Dead Know is about a woman who claims to be one of two sisters who disappeared in 1975, the five-day investigation into her story, and memories. She's so mysterious, you'll be trying to figure her out and changing what you think every couple of pages. Good bookmore
An Excellent Suspenseful Read! I really enjoy a great mystery novel and my friend recommended this book. The main character "Heather" was sort of a ringer. Normally, if the author is skilled in their writing I will find myself rooting for this character, but that didn't happen until near the end of the story which was a little late. While I'm on the subject of the ending, well it was a bit of a let down. But I don't want to give the impression that this was a terrible novel, because it wasn't. The plot will keep you reading page after page and it's certainly an excellent, suspenseful read.more
Lippman writes a mystery that will stay with you long after you have finished the last page. This story starts wtih a hit-and-run car accident, the perpetrator claiming in her dazed confusion she is one of the Bethany girls, girls who went missing years and years ago from a mall not too far from the scene of the accident. Is she who she claims to be? The detectives aren't sure, but she does know something about the abduction. Although none of the characters will earn your sympathy, necessarily, Lippman draws them in an authentic way that will make you want to know how their stories resolve. Recommended for those who like mysteries with more than just plot.more
A page turner that keeps you guessing.more
A riveting mystery with a fabulous conclusion and unlikeable characters.more
what a brilliant read - no really it is... it is! Starts off not with a bang more a whimper but as the chapters float by, and it only takes a few of them but honestly it will get you hooked in. You keep wondering, you can't stop yourself thinking, 'yes, she is who she says she is'. Then the your yes switches to No! No way and then back again to yes and then just when you think you've got it all figured out something else happen. Like I say I found it a brilliant read and I think you will too!more
WHAT is this book about?In 1975, two sisters―15-year-old Sunny Bethany and 11-year-old Heather Bethany―disappear at a local Baltimore shopping mall. Thirty years later, a woman flees the scene of a car accident near Baltimore and, when found, claims to be the youngest Bethany sister. Police aren’t quite sure what to make of her claim due to her reluctance to provide identification or health insurance information. Although she seems to know a lot of details about the case, all of the information she provides results in dead-ends that cannot be verified.WHO do we meet?* Miriam and Dave Bethany are Sunny and Heather’s parents. When the girls disappear, their already shaky marriage falls apart as their grief pulls them in two different directions. Dave―who has always dominated the family with his ideas on how things should be―cannot give up the hope that the girls will be found. He stays in the family home―waiting for answers that never come. Miriam, on the other hand, needs to move away in order to escape the tragedy. Her journey eventually takes her to Mexico, where she creates a quiet life for herself―a life where no one knows about her daughters’ disappearance.* Kevin Infante is a twice-divorced womanizer and the detective assigned to determine if the woman from the car accident really is Heather Bethany. Frustrated by Heather’s stonewalling and leads that don’t answer any of his questions, Infante turns to the original investigator, Chet Willoughby (who now lives in an assisted living center) for assistance. For Willoughby, the Bethany case and its lack of closure haunts him. The opportunity to find out what happened is tantalizing but threatening at the same time―what had he missed during the first investigation?* Kay is the social worker who tries to help Heather deal with her current legal problems―from helping her to find a lawyer to providing a place to stay. Struggling to stay uninvolved, Kay finds herself questioning her own motives and some of Heather’s actions.WHEN and WHERE does the book take place?The book jumps back and forth in time from the present day investigation to the 1975 disappearance and its aftermath. Lippman writes from multiple viewpoints―including Dave, Miriam, Kay, Heather, Infante and Willoughby. This mosaic-like approach is effective in providing the reader with bits and pieces of the mystery as we read along while also providing insights into the minds of the various characters. The bulk of the book takes place in and around Baltimore.WHY should you read this book?If you like mysteries that emphasize character development, this would probably be a good choice for you. It isn’t your standard “murder mystery” in that you aren’t really looking to figure out who the killer is. Rather, the mystery is whether the woman claiming to be Heather Bethany is who she says she is and what really happened to the sisters on the day of their disappearance. I thought Lippman did a good job providing bits and pieces of the mystery to keep you interested without giving too much away too soon. I also appreciated that she took the time to develop her characters―although I’m not sure I would want Kevin Infante being assigned to a case I was involved in! Based on this book, I would definitely read another Lippman book.more
In 1975 two young woman were kidnapped from a local mall. Their bodes were never located. All leads came to a standstill.Now, thirty years later an adult woman involved in a car accident claims to be one of the Bethany sisters who were abducted.373 long, slow, arduous pages later we discover if the adult woman is indeed one of the missing sisters, or if it is all a hoax.The characters are well developed, the story is intriguing and the book held my interest enough to finish. But, the writing was labored.I simply don't like the hide the pea under the shell flip flop of switching characters and stories wherein the reader never really knows if the author is challenging, or trying to fool.more
While I enjoyed the plot and the mystery kept me readin, it was slow going. The story seemed to meander along, never really picking up any speed. It jumped from character to character and from time period to time period, Just didn't flow very well. Very intriguing mystery, though.more
Well-written book, but it took me no time whatsoever to figure out the mystery.more
I liked this book, but it could have been better. With the switching between times and characters I sometimes found it hard to figure out what was going on at times. I also thought the solution to the problem was a little unsatisfying. The main character was pretty unlikeable. All that being said, I was entertained and I would probably try this author again.more
Thirty years ago the Bethany sisters disappeared from a local shopping mall and were never found. Now, after suffering a head injury in a traffic accident just a few miles from the mall, a woman claims to be the younger sister. Can it be true, or just a cruel hoax? Not part of the Tess Monaghan series. Lippman deftly weaves past and present to tell the story from multiple view points. Highly recommend.more
Sparse, lean, and mean; gimlet-eyed with minimal frippery and self-satisfied showiness. Effortlessly slides from one character to another to triangulate the heart of a small, infinitely-cruel little crime.more
This excellent novel about two missing girls kept me guessing all the way to the powerful and riveting conclusion. Lippman is a wonderful writer, and I found myself unable to put this book down until I read it all the way through. The tragic tale of two girls who disappeared one afternoon and the effect that disappearance had on the lives of those around them is wrapped up the gradual unraveling of the truth behind that afternoon, and the many shadings of guilt that surround Heather and Bethany's disappearance. Despite bouncing between perspectives and time, this novel never loses momentum; Lippman keeps the tension building as the story rockets toward the truth. Highly recommended.more
I'm not actually sure if this was a good book or not, which sound silly. I think it could have benefited from a little tightening.However, the plot is certainly compelling, and chances are you won't guess the ending till you get there. A page-turner.more
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