First great fiction book of the year

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
When reading this book (which I did all in one evening), I had that blissed-out feeling. Before I started, I wasn’t sure I was still in the mood for it. Just a few pages in, though, I was so darn happy.
First off, the book begins with Tess on bed rest during the final stage of her pregnancy. (Hello? How did I miss this news? Did Lippman just spring it on us, or was I really, really not paying attention earlier?)
And it’s totally an homage to both Rear Window (love it!) and The Daughter of Time, so complete happiness ensued.
Here’s how it starts: Tess is watching a woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog while talking with intensity on a cell phone each day, and then this scene happens:
“‘Is there anything else you need to make your haven perfect?’ Crow asked. ‘Binoculars,’ Tess said.” (p. 16)
It was then—on page 16—that I fell in love with this book. And I thought, Why can’t all books be this darn good?
Here’s the thing: This book is short (123 eBook pages, but 176 pages on paper apparently), and it’s a gorgeous little gem of a thing. It’s got the bedridden detective, the disapproving yet still helpful sidekicks, and the mysterious people she investigates from her chaise longue… none of whom is what s/he seems. Plus, there’s comic relief, such as the moment when Tess’s best friend Whitney buys Tess a diaper bag that has pockets for her two cell phones, gun, and pick locks. (“‘I have just the thing,’ Denise said, not the least bit phased by the mention of a gun. She truly was a pro.” [p. 67])
In addition to being a perfect diversion and a kick*** return by Tess, this great little mystery surprised me in the end.
Thanks to the good people of NetGalley for getting this ARC into my hot little hands.

3 thoughts on “First great fiction book of the year

  1. Pingback: Pub Challenge. I love it. I love it.

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