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?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s hard to imagine anything more haunting than an unsolved missing-children case. In Laura Lippman’s thriller, a dazed woman involved in a car accident claims to be one of two sisters who vanished without a trace decades before. The Baltimore police snap to attention, but the woman’s stories are inconsistent and her agenda seems muddy—opening up a whole new can of seriously problematic worms. We kept thinking we had Lippman’s mystery worked out, only to discover the bestselling author had another shocking twist up her sleeve.
Edgar-winner Lippman, author of the Tess Monaghan mystery series (No Good Deeds, etc.), shows she's as good as Peter Abrahams and other A-list thriller writers with this outstanding stand-alone. A driver who flees a car accident on a Maryland highway breathes new life into a 30-year-old mystery the disappearance of the young Bethany sisters at a shopping mall after she later tells the police she's one of the missing girls. As soon as the mystery woman drops that bombshell, she clams up, placing the new lead detective, Kevin Infante, in a bind, as he struggles to gain her trust while exploring the odd holes in her story. Deftly moving between past and present, Lippman presents the last day both sisters, Sunny and Heather, were seen alive from a variety of perspectives. Subtle clues point to the surprising but plausible solution of the crime and the identity of the mystery woman. Lippman, who has also won Shamus, Agatha, Anthony and Nero Wolfe awards, should gain many new fans with this superb effort. 9-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good, but excess detail
The book could have been great, but the writer devoted chapters of background info on minor characters that just didn't matter to the story. I'd rather have seen more background on the main character.
This book was pretty good. Interesting storyline & twists. Way too much detail to the characters, and some characters could have been left out. I was able to skim through much of the un-needed wording & still follow the story.
Couldn't put it down!
I had never heard of this author before, much less read any of her books. What piqued my curiosity was the reviews written by others, which ranged from highly critical, to glowing praise.
Those who criticized, felt the main character wasn't especially endearing, and in fact, even described by other characters in the book as narcissistic. Some also complained that detective assigned to the case was too much of a cliche, as a middle aged, single man, a chauvinist, viewing every attractive female as a potential bedmate.
While those assessments may hold some truth, I felt the characters possessed far more depth and complexity, and enjoyed the way in which this was developed.
I also loved the way this book moves back and forth in time, unraveling the mystery, by dangling the tiniest morsels of clues to tantalize the reader, followed by dropping major bombshells.
I couldn't put this book down, and stayed up half the night to finish it. It wasn't just the story, but the way in which it was told.
This author has a new fan!