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Josie, Perri, and Kat have been best friends since third grade—the athlete, the drama queen, and the popular beauty. Growing up in an affluent suburb of Baltimore, they enjoy privileges many teenagers are denied. But on the final day of school one of them brings a gun with her. And when the police break down the door of the high school girls' bathroom, locked from the inside, they find two of the friends wounded, one of them critically … and the third girl is dead.

From multiple-award winner Laura Lippman, one of the most acclaimed authors of crime fiction writing today, comes a tale of secrets, friendship, and betrayal that illuminates a dark and chilling event with clarity and empathy.

Topics: Maryland, Baltimore, Friendship, Coming of Age, Female Protagonist, Death, Murder, and Psychological

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061836787
List price: $10.99
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I didn't really enjoy this book so much, every chapter (and sometimes more then one in each chapter) was a different lead character and some flashback chapters. It was really confusing and the outcome just wasn't wasn't worth it all to me.read more
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Love Laura Lippman. High school group of thee girls, one girl brings a gun shoots Cat Hartigan dead and figure out the rest. A bit slow.read more
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Was very disjointed at the beginning - lots of characters. Makes you think.read more
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I didn't really enjoy this book so much, every chapter (and sometimes more then one in each chapter) was a different lead character and some flashback chapters. It was really confusing and the outcome just wasn't wasn't worth it all to me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Love Laura Lippman. High school group of thee girls, one girl brings a gun shoots Cat Hartigan dead and figure out the rest. A bit slow.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Was very disjointed at the beginning - lots of characters. Makes you think.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The story starts with three teenage girls, Perri, Josie, and Kat, locked in a school bathroom with a gun--Kat's dead; Perri has been shot in the face and is not expected to live; Josie's been shot in the foot. It appears that Perri killed Kat, then Perri and Josie struggled over the gun and Josie was shot, then Perri turned the gun on herself.But the evidence doesn't add up: why are there bloody footprints leading away from the locked door? Where are Josie's shoes? Where are all three girls' cell phones?The book bounces all over place and time, between different POVs, delving deep into each one, showing the development of the girls' friendship until a year earlier when there's an abrupt break between Perri and Kat. And despite the nonlinear progression of the story, it works, for the most part, because the psychological suspense is high and the characters are realistic and familiar (at least to anyone who is, has, or has been a teenage girl).My only problems were first, that there were a few too many characters, too many POVs. I didn't see a lot of point to teacher Alexa Cunningham's POV, for example--her scenes were very in-depth, but she seemed to be only peripherally involved, if at all, in the events leading up to the shooting.And then there was the ending. I don't want to spoil it, but it felt flat and anticlimactic. And maybe that was the point--that life doesn't always have a dramatic point. I can accept that--it just doesn't make me love the book.Overall, I loved the feel of the book: that somewhat dream-hazed, suspenseful, close-up portraits of how 3 teenage girls ended up dead or wounded. If it had been a movie, it would be an artsy one, with lots of out-of-focus close-ups. It's different from my usual reading, which is always a good thing, and I was really immersed in it up until nearly the very end.
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Best friends Josie, Perri and Kat go into the bathroom at their high school. Shots are fired. One emerges with a minor injury, one with a life-threatening one, and one is dead. What happened is the mystery at the heart of this riveting thriller.After What the Dead Know, I was excited to read another thriller by Laura Lippman. This one had wonderful character development – I really got to know the three girls as well as a great many secondary characters (such as the huffy, hypochondriac school secretary, rendered so well in just two short scenes). It was well paced and very readable. BUT – and this is a giant but – the reveal is just lame, which is a big letdown after getting so into the story. It’s hard to recommend any book that has an unsatisfactory ending, but for a thriller, it’s especially problematic. If a subpar ending to an otherwise well written and exciting story doesn’t bother you, go for it, but if it does, you might want to steer clear.
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Why: I try to be open-mind about mysteries and thrillers published in mass paperback if it’s an author I don’t know, but I don’t really succeed. I chose this one because I’ve recently become addicted to HBO’s soulful, gritty show, The Wire, alternately heartbreaking and hilarious. Dennis Lehane and Richard Price have written for the Wire. Lippman is married to the show’s creator/head writer, David Simon. Now I know you cannot assume one spouse’s talent in an area matches the other (e.g., Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra; Roseanne and Tom Arnold; Whitney and Bobby; Ricky and Lucy Ricardo). But frequently they are in the same league: James Carville and Mary Matalin; Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins; Kurt and Courtney? (But I for one think Live Through This is brilliant and I do not think Kurt wrote it. Sexist!)I digress.Based on the reading of this one book, Lippman is not in her husband’s league. It is not a bad book, not at all. I turned the pages very quickly. I wanted to know whodunnit and why. It’s just that after years of reading mysteries with literary aspirations and literary fiction that deals in clues and bodies, a straight genre mystery/thriller seems flat. The characters could have come from Central Casting; they had very few insights; they didn’t view the world through apt and original metaphors; and I won’t remember any of their names next week.I don’t regret the experience, but I’ll be looking for new mystery writing elsewhere.
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