The Revered New York Times Bestselling Author Returns With A Novel Set In 1960s Balti That Combines Modern Psychological Insights With Elements Of Classic Noir, About A Middle Aged Housewife Turned Aspiring Reporter Who Pursues The Murder Of A Forgotten Young Woman In 1966, Balti Is A City Of Secrets That Everyone Seems To Know Everyone, That Is, Except Madeline Maddie Schwartz Last Year, She Was A Happy, Even Pampered Housewife This Year, She S Bolted From Her Marriage Of Almost Twenty Years, Determined To Make Good On Her Youthful Ambitions To Live A Passionate, Meaningful Life.Maddie Wants To Matter, To Leave Her Mark On A Swiftly Changing World Drawing On Her Own Secrets, She Helps Balti Police Find A Murdered Girl Assistance That Leads To A Job At The City S Afternoon Newspaper, The Star Working At The Newspaper Offers Maddie The Opportunity To Make Her Name, And She Has Found Just The Story To Do It A Missing Woman Whose Body Was Discovered In The Fountain Of A City Park Lake.Cleo Sherwood Was A Young African American Woman Who Liked To Have A Good Time No One Seems To Know Or Care Why She Was Killed Except Maddie And The Dead Woman Herself Maddie S Going To Find The Truth About Cleo S Life And Death Cleo S Ghost, Privy To Maddie S Poking And Prying, Wants To Be Left Alone.Maddie S Investigation Brings Her Into Contact With People That Used To Be On The Periphery Of Her Life A Jewelery Store Clerk, A Waitress, A Rising Star On The Balti Orioles, A Patrol Cop, A Hardened Female Reporter, A Lonely Man In A Movie Theater But For All Her Ambition And Drive, Maddie Often Fails To See The People Right In Front Of Her Her Inability To Look Beyond Her Own Needs Will Lead To Tragedy And Turmoil For All Sorts Of People Including The Man Who Shares Her Bed, A Black Police Officer Who Cares For Maddie Than She Knows. Cold, Dark, and Distant Lady in the Lake is a mystery about a want to be journalist who inserts herself into murder investigations in 1960 s Balti Maddie Schwartz, married to Milton for 18 years and mother to 16 year old Seth, decides she needs to do She makes a drastic change and leaves Milton and Seth to start over She lucks her way into a job at a newspaper and goes to extremes to move up on the ladder In order to succeed, she will cross boundaries and put herself into dangerous situations all to get the story even if it means hurting those she is closest to This is one of those books that I had to constantly coax myself into reading Once I had it in my hands, I was fine but when I put it down I was reluctant to go back to it I enjoyed the historical elements and Lippman s portrayal of Balti in the 1960s, but I had a hard time connecting to Maddie I appreciated her drive, but her character lacked emotion and seemed almost robotic I honestly didn t care what happened to her, which is why I could never fully immerse myself in the narrative She left me feeling cold I also struggled with the narrative structure, as there were multiple chapters told from the POV of side characters, including a dead girl, a waitress, a psychic, a cop, etc These are the people who touched Maddie s new life, but they are not the main players In order to better understand Maddie, I was interested in hearing the thoughts of her lover, her son, ex husband, mother, etc Instead, we get narratives about the people who make up Balti I found their stories interesting than Maddy s and was sad when I realized I would only get short glimpses of their characters, never to see them again I wanted to hear about them and less about Maddie.This wasn t a complete fail, as I enjoyed reading about the racial tensions, religious divides, gender dynamics, and class differences in 19060 s Balti The plot is compelling, but the MC is lacking Perhaps, I would have enjoyed it had the story been told from a different voice I won an ARC of this book from a GoodReads giveaway 4.5 stars, rounded upI ve read almost all of Laura Lippman s books This one is a departure from her typical style For starters, it takes place in the past, the sixties to be precise It also involves a ghost Yet, it s still a mystery at heart Maddie Schwatz is recently separated and looking finally to become something other than a wife and mother Through a fluke, she finds the body of a missing 11 year old girl Playing off that and what follows, she manages to get a job at a newspaper As the story goes on, she becomes interested in the murder of a young black woman whose body was found in the Druid Hill Park fountain Each chapter is told from a different viewpoint, including the ghost s And I mean, a lot of different POVs If that bothers you, you won t like this book, especially because we are given everyone s background and thoughts It reminded me a little of Olive Kitteridge, the way each character moves the story forward As always, Balti is as much a character in the book as any of the people Maybe because I lived there for decades, I m always fascinated by how I know exactly the neighborhoods and locations Lippman is describing and what a great job she does doing it And the language Oh, she s got the language Does any other city say a police when referring to a policeman Lippman also totally nails the times When Tessie Fine laments that as an 11 year old girl, she s told she can t be a rabbi or even a cantor, it took me right back to the times I was told all the things I couldn t be They gave me the same speech about modesty, tzniut If I had a dollar for every time someone quoted all is vanity to me, I could buy five new bras,one for each school day Modesty is for people who aren t lucky enough to have things about which to be conceited I truly enjoyed this book, although the format is one that would normally bother me It s all down to the writing, characters and the plot Lippman does a great job of nailing all three In a weird stroke of luck, I had searched google looking for a picture of the fountain, only to discover the story is based on a true event, right down to the nickname given the deceased Actually, both murders are based on real cases, and Lippman acknowledges this in her author s Note My thanks to netgalley and Faber Faber for an advance copy of this book. I ve been wanting to read a book by this author for awhile now and the synopsis for this one sounded good so I finally took the plunge While this book can be classified as historical fiction, it also fits in the mystery and women s fiction genres I ended up really enjoying this novel and look forward to reading other books by Laura Lippman.It s 1966 and Madeline Maddie Schwartz lives in Balti with her husband and teenage son It might seem like she has it all but she wants than just playing the role of dutiful housewife In search of living a meaningful life, she leaves her husband and eventually finds work at a local newspaper She is on the low end of the totem pole there but she thinks the right story will get her some attention Maddie is particularly interested in finding out what exactly happened to Cleo Sherwood, a young African American woman who was found dead in the fountain of a city park lake However her eagerness to find out the truth could come at an awful price for some I was surprised at how many different things the story was able to touch on such as race, religion, women in the workforce, the newspaper industry, and politics to name a few For me what really drove the story was the mystery of Cleo Sherwood so than the Maddie finding herself storyline While Maddie s perspective was predominately featured, other characters, including Cleo gave their spin on events throughout the book For the most part I liked this method of telling the story especially as it really demonstrated how Maddie s actions affected other people However, a few characters really had nothing much to do with advancing the plot so even though the appearances were brief, they just felt unnecessary This is the type of book in which there is a little bit of something for everyone and what each reader takes away from it might be different Definitely recommend especially if the 1960s Balti setting peaks your interest like it did for me.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review 4 very enthusiastic stars This was my first book of Laura Lippman s and it definitely won t be my last I can t think of anything I didn t like about this book It s Balti in 1966 and Maddie Schwartz has decided she is done playing by the rules and wants to start living her life She leaves her husband and moves to an apartment downtown She finds herself in the middle of a police investigation and from that point on she gains a focus of what she wants to do with her life She begins working for the Star, one of Balti s newspapers and immediately decides that she is not going to settle for being someone s assistant She wants her own column and she does almost anything she can sometimes consequences be damned to research a murder that no one seems to care about A young, black woman was found dead in a nearby lake The community has moved on from this, but Maddie refuses to let go It is through this investigation that we follow Maddie, and many other POV from the various people she meets by way of her investigation I can see why some people had trouble with the way this book was laid out We hear from almost everyone Maddie encounters even if for only a brief chapter , which in my opinion, helps flesh out the story even than if we had read it all from Maddie s perspective I thought it was also a good avenue into the insight of the time and place not only did we see the world through Maddie s eyes, we saw it through different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, professions, genders, etc So this aspect of the book was a total win for me I also found the story extremely interesting and inspiring Was Maddie my favorite character in the world No But who cares She had a dream and she chased it I highly recommend giving this a chance it you have any interest in newsroom reporting, mystery, the 60 s, or women s fiction I want to thank Netgalley, Faber Faber and Laura Lippman for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book I was particularly touched by Ms Lippman s author s note.Review Date 7 21 19Publication Date 7 23 19 Whew, Lady in the Lake was a dizzying ride The basics of the plot do have a lot of potential the lady in the lake and her killer have to be identified, and recently separated Maddie Schwartz is on the case However, the rotating cast of narrators made my head spin Nearly every minor character Maddie meets ends up narrating a chapter These narrators are often one dimensional, and they tend to ramble, sending the storyline off on tangents that aren t central to the narrative It s 1966, and Maddie is a white Jewish woman who is regularly sleeping with a black police officer Why don t we hear a lot from him I d love to cut most of the minor narrators in exchange for insight into his perspective.Lady in the Lake would be a lot cohesive with fewer narrators and significant cuts to the manuscript It s roughly 350 pages, but it could easily be cut to 250 Three stars the premise is interesting, but the execution has its flaws.Thanks to NetGalley and Faber and Faber for providing me with a DRC of this novel. LaurA Lippman swept me away to 1960s Balti with this atmospheric and riveting tale This book perfectly wove together mystery, historical fiction, and women s fiction maddie is a 1960s housewife who after 18 years of marriage decide she wants to life than just being a wife While I didn t always agree with Maddie s methods, I completely understood her plightt Maddie leaves her husband finds herself a job at a newspaper and is determined to be the best reporter ever She will do what it takes, climb over people, and stomp on their loyalties The structure and vibe of the story was unique and well executed Not only did we get the point of view of Maddie but that of so many others Including a ghost, a police officer, a baseball player, a psychic, and so much I loved the little vignettes sprinkled throughout the story about seemingly inconsequential characters I thought it really added to and propel the story along Even though this was of a slow burn I was completely compelled from first page to last The descriptive writing and dialogue gave me such an incredible sense of time and place There is a lot packed into this novel, a mystery, women s rights, race relations, religious implications, and politics I think Miss Lippman did a marvelous job of bringing it all together and keeping it fresh and interesting If you are a fan of the 1960s, Mystery, or women s fiction I d definitely recommend adding this one to your summer TBR Big thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book 4 surprise starsThis was such a surprising book I loved the way that Laura Lippman wrote this with so many different voices Here s one example there would be a scene of two characters talking at a diner and the next voice we would hear would be from the waitress I thought this was so clever and a great way to make the story multi dimensional There s a baseball player, a ghost, and a policeman just to name a few of the voices that contribute to the overall story.Set in the mid 1960s Balti, the main character is Maddie Schwartz She has a way of sticking her nose in and sets her sights on becoming a reporter It doesn t matter that she s been a housewife and has just left her husband and son A series of coincidences give her some writing material and she s off tracking down the latest dirt that she can dig up There are racial, class, and religious tensions all bubbling up at this time in Balti One of the places Maddie goes digging is figuring out what happened to a young murdered African American woman, Cleo Sherwood Maddie grows in the story and that was important as otherwise she came across as self absorbed and not really caring about what happened to those around her I went into this one completely blind and loved it I ve read a few other Laura Lippman books, but she is a prolific writer It s good to know that I can reliably turn to her for a great read Thank you to NetGalley, Laura Lippman, and Faber Faber, Ltd for an early copy of the book to read. Maddie Schwartz has been a housewife for almost twenty years She thought she d resigned herself to this life as soon as she married Milton and became a mother to their son Seth It s a guest from her past at a small dinner party that reminds Maddie of her ambitions and she leaves Milton to begin a life of her own She assumed Seth would want to live with her and she s hurt when he decides to stay and finish high school at home with his father.When young Tessie Fine goes missing near Maddie s new Balti neighborhood, Maddie and another young woman form their own search party and as she follows streets that remind her of her past, she finds the body of the young girl This leads to a job at the afternoon newspaper the Star, where Maddie hopes to work her way up and eventually have her own byline Unfortunately she s relegated to sorting and answering questions from the public for a help column.Maddie believes her big break is the case of missing woman Cleo Sherwood, whose body is found in the fountain of a park lake She works on her own time to learn about Cleo s life and discover how she died.But what if there s something Cleo doesn t want Maddie to uncover Lady in the Lake is a slow burning noir novel that uncovers the secrets of Maddie Schwartz s past and present while she works a case no one else seems to care about Maddie understands what it s like to have secrets and yearn for a fresh start, just like Cleo learning Cleo s secrets will be the key to solving her death During her investigation, Maddie comes in contact with a string of people, both related and unrelated to case, who each have a brief chance to narrate the story to share a truth with readers The resounding voice that returns continuously is that of the ghost of Cleo Sherwood herself and she wants Maddie to stop searching for answers What is it that Cleo doesn t want Maddie to uncover Maddie s determination stems from her own selfish ambition and causes her to miss clues that ultimately lead to devastating consequences for herself and those connected with her investigation.Lippman s writing is subtle her stories are not about action but the character perspectives that move the story to its eventual conclusion I was never on the edge of my seat but I was compelled to follow Maddie around the streets of Balti to see what she would find I had a couple of theories on Cleo s death and just when the least dramatic one seemed to tie up Maddie s investigation, Lippman threw in a curveball that ultimately solves the mystery while giving us questions than answers While that certainly could ve been frustrating than satisfying, I appreciate that the ending has me considering the possibilities long after I ve finished reading.Mixing noir with hints of hard boiled fiction, Lady in the Lake gives readers unlikeable but entertaining characters surrounding a mystery loosely based on actual events of the time period.If you love a slow burn mystery with noir and detective fiction vibes, Lady in the Lake is worthy of adding to your TBR stack.Thanks to William Morrow for sending me an advance copy and Goodreads for hosting the giveaway Lady in the Lake is scheduled for release on July 23, 2019.For reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com This is my first book by Laura Lippman and I am so glad I was introduced to this author s writing Lady in the Lake is a simply captivating book I absolutely loved the author s writing style and prose The storyline itself is really intriguing And the best part for me is there was a big unexpected twist I did not see coming from a million miles away I thought I was reading about Maddie on her hunt for the truth about how Cleo was killed and then BAM you are hit with this twist It s absolutely brilliant The book is structured by each chapter being from a different characters perspective You would think this structure would be confusing to follow However, Lipman s writing does just the opposite It flows seamlessly From a writing viewpoint it s beautiful, clever and masterful That is no easy feat and the author does this effortlessly From a reader s position it makes the book so enjoyable, satisfying and hard to put down This book has elements of love, mystery, desire, ambition, independence, and finding your own way all wrapped up together The character development is strong and the author is spot on with the rich history of Balti and the time period It s a solid and powerful read I can see this as a great beach read or Bookclub pick This book offers the platform for some engaging discussions on how life has changed from the 60 s, especially the role of women and the extents people will go to for love And you can guarantee that not only will I be recommending this book, but also checking out the author s other books My thanks to Laura Lippman, Farber Farber Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 starsI liked the feel of Lady in the Lake, but there was something a bit disjointed about it at times The story is set in 1966 Balti and focuses on Maddie Schwartz Maddie is somewhat at odds with the times She is restless in her marriage, has a healthy sexual appetite, is itching to work at something engaging and is willing to take risks But she s no hero She gets a job with a newspaper and starts meddling in the murder of Cleo Sherwood, and things become complicated for Maddie and people around her The story is told mostly from Maddie s point of few, with the occasional perspective of the people she comes in contact with I liked the writing I liked the perspective on the 1960s in the US And I mostly liked the story, but I thought it didn t always hold together as well as it could Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
- 340 pages
- Lady in the Lake
- Laura Lippman
- 20 February 2018 Laura Lippman