And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (August 14, 2012)
When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she’s just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she’s the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.
But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she’s the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.
For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?
Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.
And then she learns that her son’s father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn’t know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn’t realize that he’s serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he’s clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.
With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She’s done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
This was the first Laura Lippman book that I’ve read. I’ve heard so many other book lovers praise her other books, that I was really excited to get the chance to review this, but at the same time I was a little apprehensive due to the book being about a madam and prostitution. I shouldn’t have worried. the book doesn’t focus on sex. It’s about the love Heloise has for her son, the relationship between her and her parents, abuse, trust, everyday hardships, loving someone and thinking they loved you too and then finding out they were just using you…and so much more.
I can’t really say I had a favorite character, most of them I didn’t even like. But they were the type of characters that made me feel. Whether those feeling were good or bad didn’t matter really, the point was they made me feel something and that’s what kept me reading. The author did a great job with them and there are a few, especially Heloise, that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time.
The fact that Heloise was a madam and a lobbyist was hard to wrap my head around, especially since she kept her two lives so seperate. How did she keep such a big secret? One of the things that I couldn’t figure out was why Heloise stayed “in the business”. She could have given it up, but she didn’t.
The book was hard to put down and so it seemed much shorter than its 320 pages. While this book won’t go on my “best books I’ve ever read” list, it will go on my “books I remembered years after I read it” list. I’m very thankful to Partners In Crime and Laura Lippman for giving me the chance to reveiw this book. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
About The Author:
Laura Lippman is the author of eleven novels featuring Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan, seven stand-alone novels, and a short story collection. Her six most recent books have all been New York Times bestsellers. Lippman has won numerous literary prizes for her work, including the Edgar®, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity Awards. A recent recipient of the first-ever Mayor’s Prize, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, David Simon; their daughter; and her stepson.
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