The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed standalones After I’m Gone, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.
Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.
As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?
The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.
Praise For Wilde Lake…
— Mindy Kaling
“Laura Lippman’s WILDE LAKE is one of her best and most personal. . . . Lippman’s novels are tough-minded, entertaining, heartfelt and wise . . . . She’s one of today’s essential writers, and this, her 20th novel, reminds us why.”
— Washington Post
“… [a] richly plotted and emotionally devastating standalone…Lippman plays with the concept of truth and expertly hones in on the question of whether there are some truths we never want to know.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“She’s one of the best novelists around, period.”
— Washington Post
“I never miss Laura Lippman’s novels.”
— Anna Quindlen, New York Times bestselling author
“Laura Lippman’s stories aren’t just mysteries; they are deeply moving explorations of the human heart. She is quite simply one of the best crime novelists writing today.”
— Tess Gerritsen
“Lippman is an expert at lending a clear-eyed view of the bonds that link people and the truths we tell ourselves to survive the emotional morass of life. She continues this high standard in Wilde Lake.”
— Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
“As shocking secrets are revealed, the reader realizes that nothing and no one can be taken at face value in Lippman’s brainy, witty, socially conscious, and all-consuming inquiry into human nature and our slowly evolving sense of justice and equality...Lippman is an A-list crime writer.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Lippman as always treads the fine line between certainty and amazement.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Ultimately, Wilde Lake is not so much a crime novel that rises to the level of serious literature as serious literature that rises to the level of great crime fiction.
— Chicago Tribune
“A heady brew of twisting tale and accelerating introspection, Wilde Lake at once disturbs and delights, as Lippman impels not only her characters but also her readers to question the depth of their understanding of the past…”
— Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Wilde Lake is engrossing, suspenseful and substantial, its wit easing a sober, somewhat elegiac air.”
— New York Times Book Review
“Lippman draws on two decades of crime reporting to produce a heart-stopping new thriller, which pivots on a state attorney’s drive and cunning as she unravels a baffling murder case with personal implications.”
— O Magazine
HarperLuxe, 9780062466310, 480pp.
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
About the Author
Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the "essential" crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her daughter.