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Wilde Lake
Cover of Wilde Lake
Wilde Lake
A Novel
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An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl. A vengeful father. A courageous attorney. A worshipful daughter. Think you know this story? Think again. Laura Lippman, the "extravagantly...
An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl. A vengeful father. A courageous attorney. A worshipful daughter. Think you know this story? Think again. Laura Lippman, the "extravagantly...
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Description-

  • An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl. A vengeful father. A courageous attorney. A worshipful daughter. Think you know this story? Think again.

    Laura Lippman, the "extravagantly gifted" (Chicago Tribune) New York Times bestselling author, delivers "one of her best novels " (Washington Post)—a modern twist on To Kill a Mockingbird. Scott Turow writes in the New York Times, "Wilde Lake is a real success."

    Luisa "Lu" Brant is the newly elected state's attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She's going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

    But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime—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. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn't she know?

    As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn't want to know the whole truth?

About the Author-

  • Since Laura Lippman's debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 21, 2016
    Luisa “Lu” Brant, the heroine of this richly plotted and emotionally devastating standalone from Lippman (Hush, Hush), has been newly elected as state’s attorney of Maryland’s Howard County. She’s back in her hometown of Columbia, where she and her brother, AJ, eight years her senior, were raised by their widowed father, Andrew Jackson Brant, a formidable prosecutor with an Atticus Finch sense of justice and morality. Widowed herself and raising eight-year-old twins, Lu lives in the house where she grew up replete with memories of a mostly friendless childhood spent tagging after AJ or reading. Everything in the Brants’ lives is cleaved into before and after a shocking act of violence on the night of AJ’s high school graduation in 1980. When Lu takes on her first murder case as state’s attorney—a woman is found beaten and strangled in her apartment—she has no idea that the defendant, a mentally unstable drifter, could be connected to a larger pattern of darkness stretching back to her childhood. Lippman plays with the concept of truth and expertly homes in on the question of whether there are some truths we never want to know. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2015

    Following in her father's footsteps as state's attorney of Howard County, MD, Luisa "Lu" Brant has decided to make her mark by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death. But the case brings back distant memories of her brother's having saved a friend at the expense of another man's life, and she begins to wonder whether as a child she understood the case correctly. The multi-award-winning author acknowledges parallels to the Finch family of To Kill a Mockingbird, adding, "This book was well under way when HarperCollins announced its acquisition of Go Set a Watchman--and it was completed before that novel was published." With a 150,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2016

    At 17, Lu's older brother AJ was involved in the death of another teen. Though AJ walked away with a broken arm while the other boy was killed with his own knife, the event was ruled an accident. Lu idolizes her older brother almost as much as she looks up to her father, Andrew Jackson Brent Sr., a state's attorney and a pillar of society in their newly minted utopian society of the late 1960s. Now Lu, aka Luisa, a state's attorney herself, is the widowed mother of twins and lives with her aging dad. There is a new murder, and as Lu tries this case, connections to her father's biggest murder case, links to her brother's tragic events, and all of Lu's most vivid memories slowly unfold. The story is told in a series of flashbacks that are deftly handled by the author, and readers will assume that there must be a connection among all these deaths. The suspense of not knowing just what's going on, the smooth writing, and the slight cliff-hanger effect of the alternating chapters will keep readers up late. This is much more than a mystery or thriller; the crimes are almost a mere backdrop to the personal stories of Lu and her family members. The honest portrayals of teenage AJ and his much younger sister growing up will have wide YA appeal. VERDICT First purchase for all high school libraries, and a great read-alike for fans of To Kill a Mockingbird.-Jake Pettit, Enka Schools, Istanbul, Turkey

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2016
    Lippman (Hush Hush, 2015, etc.) takes familiar themes to a new locale as she traces a family's journey from raucous Baltimore to the meticulously planned community of Columbia, Maryland. Growing up in green, slightly hippie suburbia has its pluses and minuses for Luisa Brant. She lives in an old stone tavern her father, Andrew Jackson Brant, state's attorney for Howard County, had moved onto a lush double lot for his wife. Adele Brant lived in her dream house for less than a year before she died a week after Luisa's birth. Although she's never quite accepted by her peers, motherless Lu does get to tag along with her brother, AJ, and his multicultural band of friends from Wilde Lake High. AJ leads a charmed life of academic ability, athletic triumph, and artistic talent, and some of these blessings seem to rub off on Luisa. What's hers alone is her raw ambition. Her drive powers her through life's challenges: the death of her young husband, Gabe, the difficulty of raising her twins without him, and her complicated relationship with her father, which grows even thornier after she moves back into her childhood home. It also brings her to what for many would be the pinnacle of her career when she beats her old boss Frederick C. Hollister III and takes her father's old position, becoming the first woman elected state's attorney for Howard County. Her new job pits her almost immediately against Fred in a case that looks like a sure winner. Homeless Rudy Drysdale is accused of breaking into Mary McNally's apartment and killing her. There's forensic evidence, there's an eyewitness, but for Lippman, there's no such thing as a sure thing. Before long, Lu the fierce looks like she may have caught a tiger by the tail. Although she overamps some reveals and shortchanges others, Lippman as always treads the fine line between certainty and amazement.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Mindy Kaling "Laura Lippman is one of my favorite writers. I cannot focus on anything else when I am reading one of her books. Her writing makes me wish I lived a sexier and more violent life."
  • Washington Post "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."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "... [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."
  • Washington Post "She's one of the best novelists around, period."
  • Anna Quindlen, New York Times bestselling author "I never miss Laura Lippman's novels."
  • Tess Gerritsen "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."
  • Associated Press "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."
  • Booklist (starred review) "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."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Lippman as always treads the fine line between certainty and amazement."
  • Chicago Tribune "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.
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch "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..."
  • New York Times Book Review "Wilde Lake is engrossing, suspenseful and substantial, its wit easing a sober, somewhat elegiac air."

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