It’s the summer of new authors for me, even though they’d be annoyed to find themselves referred to as “new.” What I mean is, authors your host has never read. I’ve been trying to widen my scope, in an effort to move up the crime-fiction ladder from poseur to dilettante. It was in that spirit that I picked up Laura Lippman’s Every Secret Thing a couple of days ago.
A hundred pages in, I’m impressed. The story is fresh: two 11-year-old girls serve seven years in juvenile detention for their roles in the death of an infant, then are released into a hostile world. The plot thickens.
Lippman has this deft way of gradually revealing more details about the central death to make this a page-turner — it feels a little like Dennis LeHane’s “Mystic River” that way. I meant to read just a couple of chapters last night but didn’t stop until I’d read six. Also, it’s somehow refreshing that every major character thus far is female, convincingly drawn and with distinct motivations. The single male character I’ve seen is one of those guys who make you ashamed of the gender.
So. Of the three books I bought at Border’s the other day, this first one seems a good investment. Since this “new ” writer has eight other novels in print, I’ve got another good author to browse on my next trip to the store or library.
For those more widely-read than I: What about Lippman’s series novels? Do they hold up as well?