Lady in the Lake

Lady in the Lake

A Novel

Book - 2019
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"New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman returns with a new stand-alone novel about a middle aged housewife turned aspiring reporter Maddie Schwartz, who is determined to solve the murder of a forgotten young woman in order to make her own reputation"--
"The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore 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, Baltimore 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 Baltimore 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 jewelry store clerk, a waitress, a rising star on the Baltimore 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 more than she knows"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Description: 340 pages ; 24 cm
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780062390011
Branch Call Number: Lipp
Additional Contributors: Lippman, Laura, 1959- Lady in the lake


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Jun 29, 2020

This Laura Lippman novel was different in structure than her other work; but giving us the viewpoint of various other characters fills in the effect Maddie has on those surrounding her, as well as broadening our perception of her character as we see others' viewpoints of her. She is beautiful, intelligent and resentful of the role she thinks she has to play. She uses her beauty and her ability to "read" others, particularly men, in order to get them to do what she needs. At first she needs to get married and be a "perfect" housewife and mother, learning all the little tricks to being a hostess to her husband's friends. She really doesn't have women friends of her own. They don't fit into the picture she is creating. When she finally decides she's had enough of watching her husband pander to other men in order to advance his career and social standing, she leaves without giving it enough thought as to how she's going to survive without an income. She solves this by hiding her wedding rings, and claiming the insurance, then selling them; and so she meets Ferdy Platt, a black policeman. Their relationship is mostly using one another for sex, but he falls in love with her. It takes her awhile to figure out what she wants to do with all the time she now has; but she decides, through an accident, to capitalize on having found a dead girl, who has been missing from a family in her parents' neighborhood. She decides to become a reporter. She goes about this in the methodical way she approaches most things--taking advantage of opportunities, working hard, speaking up for herself, and realizing, when the men surrounding her are not going to give her a break, that she'll have to circumvent them. She is really not a sympathetic character. This is more a study in how a woman of the 50s and 60s managed to get ahead without much interest in how her tactics affected the lives of others. Lippman's power as a writer brings Maddie, her setting, and tangential characters to life. I would not say this was an enjoyable book; but it is instructive.

Feb 29, 2020

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book and loved the storytelling and the writing. But then I was ready to wrap this one up. Maddie's constant social climbing gets tedious, and the end of the book was "meh."

Feb 20, 2020

Returned to library. Couldn't get into book.
There are too many good books to read rather than waste time on one you can't get into.

Feb 08, 2020

This was the first time I read Laura Lippman and I really liked both her writing & this novel. I liked the Maddie character, although she was shallow in personality. Her sex life seems a little far-fetched, but since she had lived a less than satisfying marriage for so long I gave this aspect a wide berth. I enjoyed going back to the 60s time. And even some of the 50s as described in her earlier life. I have not been to Baltimore so all of the city detail I found helpful and added to the storyline. Based on how much I liked Lippman‘s writing, I also read her very first novel, Baltimore Blues, which I found less interesting and more difficult to get through.

Oct 22, 2019

Naturally, I like anything Laura Lippman writes. She still has the great imagination and a fine sense of both time and space, but this novel is a little muddled. She uses a multi character technique of voices, not just the principal character. Each new voice is tied, at least tangentially, to the main character. In effect, it chops up the narrative, so that no rhythm can be reached in reading the plot. Eventually, I came to an understanding with it. I was interested in all the characters and they were sometimes quite venal but I still cared for them. The epilogue at the end showed what effect one event had on multiple characters over the years.

As an aside, in 1966 I was stationed in nearby Washington D.C. and thought Lippman did a good job of replicating the atmosphere of that era. I especially remember Spiro Agnew's campaign for governor. I do not think she foists modern mores on a bygone era. I find her accounts believable even for that era.

Sep 16, 2019

A pretty good mystery with a surprise ending, but the multiple narrators is distracting and unnecessary. I really did not need to know what peripheral characters were thinking. Since there is only one narrator of the audiobook, it is difficult at first to figure out who is speaking.. This might be easier with a book that hopefully names the narrator as voices switch. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Aug 21, 2019

Although well written, I expected more follow through. At times there seemed to be asides and filler material. The story of "How did she die?" carried throughout but without big twists, turns, or surprises.

Aug 20, 2019

Maddie is shallow and self-absorbed, not the personality for a reporter. As for her sex life, no way in 60s Baltimore.

debwalker Jun 18, 2019

The revered New York Times bestselling author returns with a novel set in 1960s Baltimore 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.


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Jun 11, 2020

“It was Halloween, of all things, that broke her.”

Jun 11, 2020

“...— she felt herself falling in love. Not with the city so much as the possibility of a new start, at an age when she had thought her life would basically be over.”

Feb 12, 2020


Sep 11, 2019

Jenna Bush

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