Book Review: Wilde Lake

wilde-lake-by-laura-lippman-0062083473The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I frequently lament mysteries, thrillers, or suspense novels that I figure out ahead of time.  It’s not that I am so smart, but that many of the plots are formulaic in nature — therefore it is easy to come to a conclusion before it is revealed in the narrative.  Wilde Lake is not easy to figure out.  Laura Lippman has one plot twist after another, and before you know it you’ve been reading and the novel took a turn you didn’t expect.  It was easy to give this book a four-heart rating.

Wilde Lake weaves back and forth between two different time periods and does this effortlessly.  One part of the story is Lu Brant’s personal account of her childhood in Columbia (planned as an inclusive utopian community), where she and her brother AJ grew up and attended Wilde Lake High School.  The story opens with her memories of AJ’s attendance at a graduation party which was marred by a suspicious death.

The other half of the story is contemporary and recounts Lu’s life as a single parent and prosecutor.  Lu’s first case is the murder of a local woman, Mary McNally, who didn’t report to work after a week-long vacation.  It is quickly determined that the murderer is Rudy Drysdale, a local misfit and former classmate of Lu’s brother AJ.

Wilde Lake is an engrossing read — hard to put down.  Just when you think you have it all figured out, Lippman throws in another plot twist.  The end wraps up nicely though, and the book keeps you guessing.  My only fault with the novel is that some of the story just doesn’t seem entirely plausible, but I wouldn’t let that get in the way of an entertaining read.

Book Details:  Published by William Morrow (May 3, 2016), 368 Pages, ISBN: 978-0062083456.

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