Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Most Dangerous Thing, by Laura Lippman

I am a fan of Laura Lippman. I love her Tess Monaghan series and have enjoyed several of her stand-alone mystery-thrillers. Unfortunately, The Most Dangerous Thing doesn't live up to her usual standard. My first problem with the book was that it uses a tired literary device--the group of adults who, as children, did something terrible that has haunted them and which they now must work through or face dire consequences (in this case, prompted by the literal death of one of the group members in the first chapter). Lippman adds a twist to the story--the children's parents also have a shared secret, and about half of the book is told from their perspective. She also uses a stylistic twist, one that seems to be gaining popularity--the use of first person plural for some of the book.

Despite these twists, the book just isn't very suspenseful or interesting--I simply didn't care what the real story was concerning what happened on the night of the hurricane. And by the time I got to the book-ending revelation of "the most dangerous thing"--I had forgotten that was the title and found Lippman's ominous sounding declaration almost laughable.

Not recommended.

Favorite passage:
Allowing one's self to be forgiven is just as hard as forgiving. Harder in some ways. Because to be forgiven, one has to first admit to being at fault.

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