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Every Secret Thing

Cover of Every Secret Thing

Every Secret Thing

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"This is a standout."
—Orlando Sentinel

"One of those books that publishers like to say 'transcends the genre,' but in this case it's true."
—Chicago Sun-Times

Every Secret Thing is a riveting story of love and murder, guilt and innocence, adult sins and childhood darkness that the New York Times Book Review hailed as, "powerful...disturbing." Stepping away from her acclaimed, award-winning mystery series featuring Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan, author Laura Lippman has delivered a novel of psychological suspense that will shock and mesmerize readers, gripping them to the page while breaking their hearts. The tale of a terrible event that devastates three families, after two young girls discover by of an unsupervised baby on an empty street, Every Secret Thing is a bravura demonstration of the extraordinary storytelling skill that has won Laura Lippman every major literary prize bestowed upon mystery writers, including the Edgar®, the Anthony, the Shamus, and the Agatha Awards.

"This is a standout."
—Orlando Sentinel

"One of those books that publishers like to say 'transcends the genre,' but in this case it's true."
—Chicago Sun-Times

Every Secret Thing is a riveting story of love and murder, guilt and innocence, adult sins and childhood darkness that the New York Times Book Review hailed as, "powerful...disturbing." Stepping away from her acclaimed, award-winning mystery series featuring Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan, author Laura Lippman has delivered a novel of psychological suspense that will shock and mesmerize readers, gripping them to the page while breaking their hearts. The tale of a terrible event that devastates three families, after two young girls discover by of an unsupervised baby on an empty street, Every Secret Thing is a bravura demonstration of the extraordinary storytelling skill that has won Laura Lippman every major literary prize bestowed upon mystery writers, including the Edgar®, the Anthony, the Shamus, and the Agatha Awards.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    "Interesting," the ophthalmologist said, rolling away from Cynthia Barnes in his wheeled chair, like a water bug skittering for cover when the lights went on in the middle of the night.

    "Not exactly my favorite word in a doctor's office." Cynthia tried to sound lighthearted. The metal apparatus was cold and heavy on her face, and although it wasn't literally attached, she couldn't help feeling as if she were in a vise. Each flick of the doctor's wrist -- Better here? Or here? Here? Or here? -- seemed to tighten the machine's grip on her.

    "Good interesting," he said, rolling back to her. "Now, is it clearer with the first one or" -- he flipped something, inserted something, she had never been sure what he was doing -- "or this one."

    "Could I see those again?" She sounded tentative, even to her ears, which shamed her. Cynthia still remembered what she was like back when she was always sure about things.

    "Absolutely. This one" -- the letter O, bold but a little wavy around the edges, as if it were underwater -- "or this one." This O was not quite as bright, yet it was clearer.

    "The second one?"

    "There are no right answers here, Cynthia. An eye exam isn't a test." He chuckled at his own wit.

    "The second one."

    "Good. Now is it better with this one or" -- another flip -- "this one."

    "The first one. Definitely the first one."

    "Good."

    She felt a little glow of pride, then embarrassment for caring at all. She had arrived at the doctor's office on a wave of apologies, having skipped her annual exam for the last three years, despite the friendly little postcards that arrived every spring. She was AWOL from the dentist, too. And she might have passed on this eye exam, if it weren't for her younger sister's sly observation that Cynthia was squinting more often these days. "You keep straining like that, you're going to have one of those little dents," said Sylvia, who had never forgiven Cynthia for getting the one pair of green eyes in their generation. "Better reading glasses than Botox."

    Cynthia had almost snapped: Get off my damn back, I've earned that dent. Instead she had made this appointment with Dr. Silverstein, who had moved to the northern suburbs since she saw him last.

    Satisfied, Dr. Silverstein swung the machine off her face, returned her contact lenses to her, along with a tissue to catch the saline tears that flowed from the corners of her eyes. He was younger than she, it dawned on her. He must have just been starting out when she first went to him thirteen years ago. She wondered how those years had treated him, if his life had gone according to his expectations and plans.

    "Well, I've seen this before, "Dr. Silverstein said, smiling so broadly that his dimples showed, "but I've seen few cases as pronounced as this."

    Cynthia was not comforted by the smile. She had known too many people whose expressions had nothing to do with what they were about to say.

    "What? What?" I'm going blind, I have a tumor behind one of my eyes, which explains the headaches. But she hadn't told Dr. Silverstein about the headaches. Should she?

    "Your eyes are getting better, Cynthia. We see this sometimes in people who have worn contact lenses for a long time. Nearsightedness improves. You've been having trouble focusing on things because your contacts are old and pocked by protein deposits, not because you need a new prescription."

    "What about reading glasses?"

    "Not yet."

    "Good. I've heard that if you get reading glasses, your close-up vision gets worse and worse."

About the Author-
  • Since Laura Lippman's debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 7, 2003
    With this engrossing mystery/suspense stand-alone novel, Lippman, winner of the Edgar, Shamus and Agatha awards for her series featuring likable heroine Tess Monaghan (Baltimore Blues; Charm City; The Last Place) solidifies her position in the upper tier of today's suspense novelists. Two 11-year-old children—good girl Alice Manning and bad girl Ronnie Fuller—wander homeward in Baltimore after being kicked out of a friend's pool party. They discover a baby in an unattended carriage by the front door of a house and steal it away. The reader watches in horror, knowing what will come next. The baby dies, and Alice and Ronnie are imprisoned for seven years. The mystery involves which girl did the killing, and which was the dupe. After release from prison, their blighted lives move inexorably toward further horror and tragedy. Lippman slowly relinquishes the facts of her story, building suspense as she reveals the past. Her well-honed prose is particularly suited to descriptions that impart more than just appearances: "Holly was one of those people who seemed to be put together with higher quality parts than everyone else"; "...there was something menacing in the very fineness of his bones, as if a bigger boy had been boiled down until all that remained was this concentrated bit of rage and bile." With this book, much darker than any in her past series, Lippman shows she is an author willing to take risks in both writing and storytelling. Her deft handling of this disturbing material is sure to increase the breadth of her readership. (Sept. 2)Forecast:Look for this one to garner critical praise with a sales boost to follow. Fans will hope to see series hero Tess Monaghan—who seemed a bit tired in her last outing—back on the page soon, reinvigorated from her time off. Major ad/promo; eight-city author tour.

  • Charlotte News & Observer

    "Laura Lippman can speak in any voice....This may be the best book I've read all year."

  • Kirkus Reviews on Every Secret Thing

    "...a chilling study of mothers, daughters, love, and murder....Lucid, tight, and compelling."

  • Orlando Sentinel

    "This is a standout. And the story of children in jeopardy and innocence lost is sadly all too timely."

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