Heloise Lewis knows all about hiding in plain sight. She is, after all, a prostitute. But Heloise lives in a normal neighborhood and lives a quiet life, not drawing attention to herself or her profession. No, Heloise has done everything she can to blend in and provide the best life she can for her son, Scott. Scott will never know the truth about his father or Heloise's job. It took a lot for Heloise to get where she is in the world, not least of which was turning over evidence that led to her pimp's incarceration -- and making sure that he never found out she was responsible. But now it looks as though his case will be appealed and Heloise's carefully built facade is in danger of falling apart.
Laura Lippman is the author of the popular Tess Monaghan series as well as a number of standalones, including And When She Was Good. For longtime readers, though, Heloise is not completely unfamiliar. In fact, Heloise appears in a short story ("One True Love") and a novella (Scratch a Woman) featured in Lippman's 2008 collection, Hardly Knew Her.
Lippman is a master of her craft. Her writing is crisp, her plots are excellent, and -- as with Heloise -- her characters are complex. I always appreciate a tight plot but I love Lippman's character development even more so. In more instances than not, there comes a point where you have to question Lippman's leads: is this character telling the truth, what is this character hiding (because in Lippman's case there's usually a twist), and is this character actually a good person? This element makes Lippman's characters more realistic for me as a reader.
Heloise is a formidable lady and a character with so many layers that I can't help but be drawn to her. For some she may be a bit too hard but I find her to be strong and willful, ready to do whatever it takes to help those closest to her.
You don't have to have read either of the Heloise stories in order to read And When She Was Good, but you'll certainly want to. In all honesty, I have truly enjoyed each and every book I've read by Lippman (and her short stories are some of my favorites). She's one of those authors who is guaranteed to keep me up way past my bedtime and this latest was no exception.
For more on Laura and her work, visit her official website (link above). You can also like her on Facebook.
To see what others on the tour thought, visit the official TLC book tour page here.