November 28, 2010

review: The Girl in the Green Raincoat

  The Girl in the Green Raincoat
author:  Laura Lippman
    to be published January 2011
    publisher: Avon - Harper Collins
    source: NetGalley

The newest Tess Monaghan novella has Tess on mandatory bedrest because of her high-risk pregnancy.  Remember James Stewart in Hitchcock's Rear Window?  He has a broken leg and can't get out of his apartment so he watches his neighbors.  Tess is more frustrated, stuck in one room of her house, able to look outside at a park.  Not many neighbors to see,  just a woman in a green raincoat walking her dog to the park.

One day, the woman and the dog go into the park;  only the dog comes back out.  Tess immediately calls on the people around her to help her solve this disappearance.  Tess ends up stuck with the neurotic dog;  she finds out about the dog's family.   Her background as a private investigator makes her insist on getting more details about that family.

I've admired Laura Lippman the past ten years, even more so after I saw her interview on Today Show (or Good Morning America) when she wrote To the Power of Three.    She is an artist with words ---  I highlighted many of her sentences in The Girl to share:  Tess's baby-to-be, a girl, is "a taskmaster in amniotic fluid."  Tess has mood swings, "Mood swings?  Try mood teeter-totters, mood elevators, mood escalators, mood rockets.  Add a daily dose of Oprah and Judge Judy to the mix and she was truly unpredictable." 

The story's whodunnit and howdunnit was also unpredictable for me and took me by surprise.  I like that!  The characters in the book are a hoot.   Now I'm curious how Tess will be a working mom.  In the meantime, I'll be reading earlier Tess Monaghan novels.    This was the first Tess I've read, and it is a good standalone.

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