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May 9, 2016

Loved it: Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: 
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss 
Genre: Women's Lit | Mystery

The bestselling author of the acclaimed standalones After I’m Gone, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.

As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.






Secrets have a way of coming to light at the most inopportune time and the damage it does sometimes is exponentially more devastating as time passes by. This is the core of WILDE LAKE by Laura Lippman where an obscure murder case opened a big can of worms for Lu, unraveling her life and unveiling the lies she was told growing up.

Going into WILDE LAKE I was expecting some sort of a courtroom thriller a la Grisham. Not that I was disappointed because the novel is engaging, but it felt more like a memoir than a suspenseful or even dramatic case investigation and prosecution. Lu would share recollections of her youth to contrast with her current situation, drawing from two different points until she realizes that the pieces don't quite fit. And so she digs deeper and the revelation is heartbreaking, the effect even more.

Lu is a good narrator, she's introspective and objective which made WILDE LAKE feel more omniscient even if it's told in first POV. As a character, I feel neutral about Lu. I admire her honest assessment of herself, she doesn't make excuses for her ambitious drive and sometimes head-bitch behavior. She also comes across as very cold. At the end of the novel when her past is basically unraveled, Lu appears to be unshaken and unbroken. 

WILDE LAKE may not be as suspenseful or thrilling, there are no morbid threats or tense confrontations that will make your heart jump on your throat. Instead, it will make you wonder, ponder, and be carried away by the story at an even pace while stirring your emotions effectively. 









Talk Supe


35 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear it wasn't as suspenseful as could be but good to hear that it made you think

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  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed it even though it was a bit diff from what you expected <3

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  3. This is new to me but I'm so glad you loved it!

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    1. It is to me too, I'm happy I took a chance and grabbed an arc

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  4. I'm a little worried that the intersection between two stories could get a little muddy. I'm intrigued, though. I like reading these kind of mysteries.

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    1. It was done well, and if I were in Lu's shoes, I would be devastated. Then again, she's a hard woman to begin with so her slight coldness is consistent with everything

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  5. A different kind of story there but it sounds well done there even if it's in another aspect of the book

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    1. Yes, it's a different kind of intrigue for sure

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  6. Since I don't like courtroom drama this might be more my speed than yours.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Well I loved it so you might love it more if not equally

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  7. This one looks like a different type of thriller, so I know I have to read it.

    Simply Angela

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  8. I've been meaning to read this author and maybe, just maybe this is the book to do it! Thanks!

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    1. Yes I want to read her other books now too!

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  9. I like my suspense, well, suspenseful. I don't think I'd have a great experience with this one, but who knows.

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  10. Darn. Sucks that it's not as suspenseful as you'd think it would be. I'm not one for memoirs, mainly because they tend to be slower paced. I'm glad to hear that you still enjoyed this one though. :)

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    1. It's definitely not what I expected but I still loved it. Different is good sometimes

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  11. Lippman is an author I will always read. Not all books can make our hearts jump, that's why when we find one it is so special. A four star review is still a top notch read to me. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Ooh that's good to know! I'll be sure to check out her other works. Thanks Sherry!

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  12. Sometimes not getting what you expect is good.

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    1. yes ma'am! It certainly broke the cycle and cleansed the palate

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  13. I do want to try her books...one day

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  14. I like an introspective main character, although I don't like the sound of her feeling a bit cold. Too bad it misses some suspense and feel more like a memoir, but that's good you still enjoyed it. Like Mary said, sometimes not getting what you expected can be a good thing.

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    1. I guess in hindsight, growing up with men, their gruffness just rubbed off on her and she emulated their demeanors to an extent. Yeah, it's good!

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  15. Interesting how it surprised you like that. I was leaning toward some court room drama, too, by that blurb. But a look at how the past really happened and how it affected her present life can be interesting if different.

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    1. On one hand the blurb is misleading, on the other I'm happy it's not so bad. I had a good time with the story!

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  16. I've been picking up a few mystery reads lately too. This sounds like it was a nice surprise for you. :)

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    1. I'm on a mystery kick, they're my drug of choice of late lol

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  17. Interesting that this read more like a memoir. I can definitely see why it wasn't as thrilling. I don't know if this would be for me, but glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  18. That's really awesome that even though it was so different than expectation it still was a good read for ya :D

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  19. Interesting...a mystery that makes you think but not in the typical way a mystery makes you think. I'm glad you enjoyed the read despite it not being what you were expecting, Braine.

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