Jennifer Reese
March 09, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

What the Dead Know

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Laura Lippman
publisher
William Morrow
genre

We gave it an B+

In the 1975 Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know, teen Sunny Bethany and her kid sister, Heather, head to a suburban mall to watch Escape to Witch Mountain, then vanish without a trace. Thirty years later, a shifty blonde is arrested in a hit-and-run accident and claims to be Heather. Is she? What really happened to the Bethany girls? Lippman takes her sweet time peeling back the decades-old horror story, using skin-crawling flashbacks and a cast of finely drawn characters, from a lecherous detective to the sisters’ stoic mother. That the startling solution to the mystery seems a bit pat is only because everything leading up to it is so deliciously complex. B+

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