Life Sentences: A Novel by Laura LippmanLife Sentences: A Novel by Laura Lippman

Life Sentences: A Novel

byLaura Lippman

Paperback | April 14, 2009 | Large Print

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“From its gripping opening pages…Life Sentences may be the most absorbing, entertaining mystery published in the last year.”<_o3a_p>

Boston Globe<_o3a_p>


USA Today calls Laura Lippman, “A writing powerhouse,” and Life Sentences powerfully confirms it. Past and present, truth and memory collide in this searing novel from a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have won virtually every major prize bestowed for  crime fiction—from the Edgar® to the Anthony to the Agatha to the Nero Wolfe Award. As she did in her blockbuster What the Dead Know, Lippman takes a brief hiatus from her popular series character, Baltimore p.i. Tess Monaghan, to tell a riveting story of deceptions and dangerously fragile truths that People magazine says, “Succeeds brilliantly.”<_o3a_p>

Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been heralded for thoughtful, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Now a perennialNew York Timesbestseller, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.
Title:Life Sentences: A NovelFormat:Paperback | Large PrintDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.24 inPublished:April 14, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061719927

ISBN - 13:9780061719929

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life Sentences As great as Laura Lippman's other standalone books.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Secret from the Past Unravells the Present Cassandra Fallows, author of two memoirs and one novel, travels back to her Baltimore neighbourhood to research her new book. Her first memoir centred around the lives of her middle class white family and that of her three best friends who are black and of mixed financial backgrounds. There was a fifth black girl on the outskirts of her group of friends whom Cassie never really paid any attention to but it has just now been revealed to her that this girl was questioned in the death of her infant son and then spent seven years in jail for contempt for pleading the fifth and has never uttered one word about her missing, presumed murdered son. This is what Cassie wants to base her new book on and as she travels home she finds that no one from the past wants to talk about that incident. It seems she has come to uncover a secret so big that many people have been silenced for what very little they do know and no one wants to open those doors again. But while unraveling other families secrets Cassie finds herself face to face with a secret from her very own family's past which she has not known of and must face before she can face anyone else's secrets. I really enjoyed this book. I've read one other Lippman book and it was not a stand-alone as this one is. I had expected this to be a mystery but, in fact, I would not classify it as such, nor would I call it a thriller, crime or even a suspense. It is much more akin to what I think of as Southern Fiction (with the eccentric characters and the race relations) but being set in Baltimore takes that option away. What we have here is really non-genre fiction. A story of people, a select group of people, and how a secret affected their lives. Lippman is wonderful at characterization. There is a big company of players in this book and the main characters are fleshed out, fully realized with full backgrounds and flawed human beings. The secondary characters are less developed but they certainly consist of an eccentric cast. While the plot mainly focuses on Cassandra and her life and relationship with her parents and friends from the past, often including passages from her published book of memoirs, the tracking down of the girl who grew up to possibly kill her own son forms a cohesive plot that pulls the whole together and gives an enjoyable mystery to solve with a satisfying ending, for this reader. But other readers looking for a traditional mystery may not find the ending quite so satisfying. Not having read many Lippman books I can't say whether this book is typical or not of her stand-alones but if you are looking for a traditional mystery/thriller/crime book this is not the book you are looking for. However, if you are looking for a compelling read with an intriguing plot that includes a secret to unravel then by all means you'll have found your book with Life Sentences. P.S. I can't help but mention that I just love the cover of my edition!
Date published: 2009-04-23

Editorial Reviews

“Succeeds brilliantly... Lippman is in total command of her material, weaving strands about race, family myths and self-deception into a mystery so taut the reader is nearly afraid to keep going—and simultaneously powerless to stop.