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What the Dead Know
Laura Lippman
The Barnes & Noble Review
This stand-alone thriller from Laura Lippman (To the Power of Three, Every Secret Thing, et al.) revolves around the mysterious disappearance of two young sisters in a Baltimore County shopping mall on Easter weekend in 1975. Still unsolved after more than three decades, the cold case suddenly becomes red hot when a middle-aged woman involved in a car accident informs police that she is one of the Bethany sisters who went missing 30 years earlier. But her disjointed story, while factually accurate, raises concerns with Baltimore County cop Kevin Infante, who intuitively knows something isn't quite right.

The investigation is complicated further by the fact that many key players are either dead or suffering from degenerative illnesses. The mysterious woman's horrific account -- an abduction involving a police officer, years of sexual abuse, and the murder of her sister -- sounds plausible enough, but when the elderly mother of the missing girls, now living in Mexico, is asked to meet with her alleged daughter, a terrible truth is finally revealed

Reminiscent of 2005's To the Power of Three, this mystery/thriller features young, outwardly uncorrupted, and surprisingly savvy female protagonists -- and a bombshell of a conclusion that, interestingly enough, ties in with the peripheral theme of the spiritual discipline of the Fivefold Path: liberation through self-knowledge. Sharing similarities with an actual unsolved case that involved the disappearance of two Baltimore-area sisters in 1975, What the Dead Know is vintage Lippman -- emotionally charged, powerfully poignant, and hauntingly sublime. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
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