BOOK REVIEW:WHAT THE DEAD KNOW
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BY LAURA LIPPMAN
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On Easter weekend of 1975, a teenager wheedles permission to spend the afternoon at a shopping mall and is dismayed when the condition is that her younger sister go along. But not wishing to jeopardize her hard won parental agreement, Sunny agrees and eleven year old Heather goes with her, promising to leave her older sister to her own devices.
As is the case with most solemn pronouncements from younger siblings, Neather does no such thing and when they reach the mall, the two sisters play a game of cat and mouse which aggravates Sunny and only whets Heather's appetite to know exactly what her older sister is up to.
When it's time for their father to pick them up, neither girl can be found anywhere. The police investigation uncovers a wealth of detail but none of the discoveries provide any worthwhile clues to what happened to the sisters.
25 years later, a chain reaction accident in a snowstorm brings policemen to an icy bridge. One of the vehicles involved in the precipitating side swipe has left the scene, and when the driver is apprehended, she tells the arresting officer that she is one of the missing sisters. As she shares bits and pieces of her story, it's clear that she knows quite a bit about the two girls.
To say much more about the action in this engrossing novel would carry the potential for completely spoiling the reading experience. The tiniest detail in the several flashback chapters becomes important in the eventual solution.
To quote my own review of Lippmann's EVERY SECRET THING, this is not precisely a murder mystery, yet WHAT THE DEAD KNOW is profoundly mysterious in every sense of the term
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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