Friday, July 26, 2019

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Laura Lippman's latest standalone, Lady in the Lake.

It's 1965 and Maddie Schwartz is tired of all the charade. She's tired of being married to Milton Schwartz. She's tired of doing what's expected of her. She's tired of her limitations. And so she leaves her husband and sets out on her own. 

But being on her own means paying her own bills. Which means she needs an income. 

Her lucky break comes at the expense of another. A missing girl and a search party Maddie isn't welcome to join leads her to her own search. Unfortunately she finds the girl, but it's what sets Maddie on the path to becoming someone. And that someone is a reporter. Maddie has no problem digging into other people's business. No problem sticking her nose where people say it doesn't belong. But the drive and determination behind that, the motivation to make something of herself, doesn't go unnoticed. And it doesn't take long for Maddie to start uncovering the wrong person's secrets. 

Lippman's books are always such a treat. She's smart and her books are smart!

Lady in the Lake is, as mentioned, a standalone. Though it is set in Tess Monaghan's world—albeit before Tess's time (with a little nod to her parents).

Race relations are a huge part of the story as are women's roles in the 60s. Maddie bucks expectations in more ways than one and finds ways around most of them. It's not easy, though. And the roadblocks she faces were par for the course for any woman in the 60s.

The "Lady in the Lake," Cleo, is a great parallel to Maddie. Another woman driven to make something of herself, to provide for her children, Cleo is willing to do whatever it takes. But Cleo is black and most definitely not well to do, which means even more roadblocks than Maddie faces. It's also the reason no one looks deeply into her disappearance and murder, in spite of her mother's concerns.

Both Maddie and Cleo are given voice in this story. Interestingly, so are the characters that cross Maddie's and Cleo's paths along the way. Interspersed throughout the book are outtakes of a sort, chapters from the perspectives of police officers, waitresses, reporters...a bevy of people who make up Maddie's and Cleo's  worlds. In less deft hands, these chapters might hang up the story, affecting the overall momentum of the mystery itself. But Lippman weaves these chapters in so organically that the pacing flows perfectly.

As I said, Lippman's books are always a treat and Lady of the Lake further proves that!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour post here.

For more on Lippman and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Dianna said...

I've only read one Laura Lippman book (I think it was called Sunburn or something?) It was good!

Sara Strand said...

Thank you for being on this tour, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Sara @ TLC Book Tours