“Powerful….A gripping tale that is a mystery only in the same sense as To Kill a Mockingbird was….Brilliant, insightful, moving.”
There are excellent reasons why New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman has won the Edgar®, Agatha, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, and every other major award the mystery genre has to offer. To the Power of Three is just one of those reasons. Lippman’s brilliant and disturbing tale of three inseparable high school girlfriends in an affluent Baltimore suburb who share dark secrets literally until death, To the Power of Three is this “writing powerhouse” (USA Today), who has “exploded the boundaries of the mystery genre to become one of the most significant social realists of our time” (Madison Smartt Bell) operating at the very top of her game. Not merely crime fiction, but fiction that gets to the deep psychological, emotional, and human roots of a terrible crime, Lippman’s novel is one that will not be easily forgotten—a must read for fans of Kate Atkinson, Tana French, Jodi Picoult, and Harlan Coben
The trouble with writing the Tess Monaghan mysteries is that fans want more, more, more. Lippman scored big with her 2003 stand-alone, Every Secret Thing, but this one doesn't pack the same punch. Here's Baltimore outlying Glendale, anyway. Here are two terrific cops: Sgt. Harold Lenhardt, the family man, and his partner, Kevin Infante, who dates babes. But where's a woman to inspire and worry us, as Tess does? Lippman's latest teems with female characters, but none whose POV elicits strong emotion. Since third grade, three girls have been best friends: rich, pretty Kat Hartigan, athletic Josie Patel and dramatic Perri Kahn. Now high school seniors, they've come to a gruesome end in the girls' bathroom. Kat is dead. Perri, the presumptive shooter, is missing half her face. Josie has a bullet in her left foot. She alone can talk, and it's clear to Lenhardt that she's lying. Lippman zigzags her way to the moment of truth. Some of the scenes are wonderfully well told, and Lippman, as always, neatly skewers people in power (the school principal tells a 911 dispatcher, "I wouldn't characterize it so much as a school shooting... but as a shooting at the school"). But this novel doesn't so much rise above genre as make one miss it.