Sunday, October 19, 2014
By A Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman
Published June 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: I bought my audiobook copy at my local library book sale
Private investigator Tess Monaghan doesn't know quite what to make of her new client, Mark Rubin—a wealthy Orthodox Jew who refuses to shake her hand and doles out vitally important information in grudging dribs and drabs. The successful Baltimore furrier claims he and his beautiful wife had a flawless, happy marriage. Yet one day, without warning, Natalie gathered up their children and vanished—and the police can't do anything because all the evidence indicates she left willingly.
But the deeper Tess digs, the more she suspects that the motive behind Natalie's reckless flight lies somewhere in the gap between what Rubin will not say and what he refuses to believe. An intricate web of betrayal and vengeance is already beginning to unravel, as memory begets rage, and rage begets desperation . . . and murder. And suddenly the lives of three innocent children are dangling by the slenderest of threads.
My third Lippman book, my second Tess Monaghan. As much as I enjoyed Lippman's What The Dead Know, I was more than half tempted to give up on the Tess Monaghan series after the disappointing No Good Deeds which I thought was overly complicated.
In By A Spider's Thread, Tess's personal life plays a much smaller part in the story but there is still plenty to learn about Tess here. This one really made me want to go back and pick up the series from the beginning and find out what makes Tess Tess.
The twists and turns of By A Spider's Thread were more than enough to keep the story interesting and the reader guessing. Lippman gives enough clues to allow readers to start to figure out things on their own - and if you're really paying close attention, you might even figure it out before all is revealed. Even so, it was interesting to watch it all play out. Perhaps the best part for me was that once the big finish played out, Lippman didn't spend a ton of time closing things down, something writers all too often get bogged down with. All in all, a very satisfying listen!