Book Review: I’d Know You Anywhere – Laura Lippman

Title: I’d Know You Anywhere
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN: 9780061706554
Pages: 384
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Summary:

Eliza Benedict is a housewife who is content with life at home with her teenage daughter, Iso, and son Albie.  After living in the UK for years, they have made the move back home to the DC-area and are all trying to adjust to life back in the States.  Eliza’s sense of complacency is shattered, however, when a part of her past asserts herself, something she thought she’d left behind.  Walter Bowman, the man who kidnapped Eliza when she was sixteen, somehow finds her and sends her a letter from jail.  Eliza’s world completely changes as she tries to deal with this new complication and comes to terms with what happened to her all those years ago.

Review:

I’m a huge fan of Laura Lippman’s standalone novels, and have only recently begun reading her Tess Monaghan series, so when I discovered she had a new book coming out, it went straight to the top of my list.  I’ve found Lippman’s standalone novels to be taut and suspenseful, with masterful crafting, and happily, I’d Know You Anywhere wasn’t an exception.

I’d Know You Anywhere was an incredibly written piece of fiction.  From the very first page, I simply could not put this book down.  I planned on reading a little, then doing other things, but I ended up reading it in one sitting because I simply had to know what happened to Eliza.  It was lyrically written and flowed incredibly smoothly.  I really cannot praise Lippman’s writing highly enough in this novel.  It’s beautiful, taut, and keeps the reader hooked.  The entire book is so tightly wound that you can’t help but continue reading, no matter what real life matters are calling to you.

Eliza was an intriguing character, made even moreso by the way others in the book characterized her.  They portrayed her as this passive, reactive woman who watched life rather than participating in it, but as the book progresses, it become clear how wrong they are.  Eliza has an amazing inner strength, and is a fierce mother who wants to protect her family from the horrors of her past.  She is a complicated, layered woman who can’t be described with just a few words.  I really enjoyed getting to know her and understanding the person she was.

This book isn’t really a mystery as much as it is a work of suspense fiction.  There are puzzles to be uncovered, but really it’s a look at Eliza and how she copes with the world when it explodes around her.  I found myself angry at characters in the book as they tried to push her one way or another, thinking she was a lamb ready to be led to slaughter.  I loved how Eliza manipulated for her own ends, and only allowed herself to be pushed when it suited her purposes.  It was a great character study and a wonderful work of fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed I’d Know You Anywhere and highly recommend it to suspense and mystery fans, as well as those who love character driven stories.  Additionally, the melodic nature of Lippman’s writing should endear this novel to literary fiction fans.  It’s an exceptional novel and I’m so sad that it’s finished and I have to wait for Lippman’s next novel!

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Comments

  1. I’ve yet to read Lippman, but I have Life Sentences on my shelves. Every review I have seen of this one has been very positive. I think I need to have a Lippman marathon.

  2. I’ve yet to read Lippman, but I have Life Sentences on my shelves. Every review I have seen of this one has been very positive. I think I need to have a Lippman marathon.

  3. Wow, I like the plot…Awesome. I am putting her books in my wishlist! Thanks for a great review!

  4. Wow, I like the plot…Awesome. I am putting her books in my wishlist! Thanks for a great review!

  5. sound like a good one. i just got the audio version from the library.

  6. sound like a good one. i just got the audio version from the library.

  7. I loved your review on this book! Fantastic! I also thought it was really very interesting, and I liked the fact that Lippman included the back story of Eliza’a time with Walter. I really like Lippman’s style and think that her standalone books are really worth reading.

  8. I loved your review on this book! Fantastic! I also thought it was really very interesting, and I liked the fact that Lippman included the back story of Eliza’a time with Walter. I really like Lippman’s style and think that her standalone books are really worth reading.

  9. It sounds so interesting – I’m trying to decide whether to read or listen. Hmm, decisions.

  10. It sounds so interesting – I’m trying to decide whether to read or listen. Hmm, decisions.

  11. I’ve never read any Lippman, but after reading your review of this book I think that is about to change. I love what you wrote about this suspenseful mystery and will definitely be heading out to get my hands on a copy! Thanks, Swapna!

  12. I’ve never read any Lippman, but after reading your review of this book I think that is about to change. I love what you wrote about this suspenseful mystery and will definitely be heading out to get my hands on a copy! Thanks, Swapna!

  13. I am a huge fan of her standalones too! And I have this in my pile to read asap.

  14. I am a huge fan of her standalones too! And I have this in my pile to read asap.

  15. I could have sworn I had this, but I can’t find it and after reading your review, I’m in panic mode looking for it!

  16. I could have sworn I had this, but I can’t find it and after reading your review, I’m in panic mode looking for it!

  17. The premise of this one definitely interests me, but I worry that my shattered nerves wouldn’t be able to take the suspense! Mysteries and thrillers usually don’t appeal to me for that reason, but I’ve heard such great things about Laura Lippman.

  18. The premise of this one definitely interests me, but I worry that my shattered nerves wouldn’t be able to take the suspense! Mysteries and thrillers usually don’t appeal to me for that reason, but I’ve heard such great things about Laura Lippman.

  19. Great review, S! I enjoyed this one, too. It’s definitely a look at the complexities of the characters as well as the situations they find themselves in. Good stuff!

  20. Great review, S! I enjoyed this one, too. It’s definitely a look at the complexities of the characters as well as the situations they find themselves in. Good stuff!

  21. Fantastic review. I loved this book too. I wasn’t expecting it to be the type of book it was, but it was a treat nonetheless.

  22. Fantastic review. I loved this book too. I wasn’t expecting it to be the type of book it was, but it was a treat nonetheless.

  23. This is the second Lippman book I have read and I plowed through it. I find her books to be so entertaining and readable.

  24. This is the second Lippman book I have read and I plowed through it. I find her books to be so entertaining and readable.

  25. I need to get this! I recently read my first Lippman book (What the Dead Know) and wanted to read another one. This one sounds fantastic.

  26. I need to get this! I recently read my first Lippman book (What the Dead Know) and wanted to read another one. This one sounds fantastic.

  27. I haven’t read any Lippman either. Your review is great, and I will be adding this to my wishlist. The plot sounds very interesting.

  28. I haven’t read any Lippman either. Your review is great, and I will be adding this to my wishlist. The plot sounds very interesting.

  29. I haven’t read Lippman either but the reviews are so good. The plots and storylines seem so intriguing I’d love to get my hands on one.

  30. I haven’t read Lippman either but the reviews are so good. The plots and storylines seem so intriguing I’d love to get my hands on one.

  31. I have heard such great things about Lippman, but have never read anything of hers yet. I’m not sure where to start, but this one sounds really interesting to me!

  32. I have heard such great things about Lippman, but have never read anything of hers yet. I’m not sure where to start, but this one sounds really interesting to me!

  33. This was the first book I’ve read by Lippman. I liked it quite a bit, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I also appreciated that she really explored a lot of the issues surrounding the death penalty but in a way that wasn’t overly preachy and in a way that represented different character viewpoints well.

  34. This was the first book I’ve read by Lippman. I liked it quite a bit, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I also appreciated that she really explored a lot of the issues surrounding the death penalty but in a way that wasn’t overly preachy and in a way that represented different character viewpoints well.

  35. I think I’m in the minority on this novel. Everyone seems to love it, but I was not a big fan. I haven’t been wild about either of the standalone Lippman novels I’ve read, but I hear better things about her series. Perhaps I’ll check those out one day.

  36. I think I’m in the minority on this novel. Everyone seems to love it, but I was not a big fan. I haven’t been wild about either of the standalone Lippman novels I’ve read, but I hear better things about her series. Perhaps I’ll check those out one day.

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