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And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman
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And When She Was Good (edition 2012)

by Laura Lippman

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5034920,248 (3.55)19
Member:juliepilgrim
Title:And When She Was Good
Authors:Laura Lippman
Info:William Morrow (2012), Edition: 1, Kindle Edition, 451 pages
Collections:Read in 2013, Your library, Kindle
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, Maryland, prostitution, mystery, family

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And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
More like 3.5 stars.

Very, very suspenseful.
And great character development. Lippmann has Heloise shadowboxing a lot of her own issues in a short time, bobbing & weaving the blows of reality with acumen.

Still, it wraps up a little too neatly for me. Heloise is ethically responsible for some dastardly things, & she may be getting off a little too easily.

Still, a great quick read. I'll be sure to pick up more by this author soon. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
In Laura Lippman's And When She Was Good Heloise Lewis, aka Helen, is, from all appearances, a single mother and successful lobbyist for the Women's Full Employment Network living in Turner's Grove, Maryland. Only a select number of people know that in reality she is a suburban madam. Heloise keeps her personal life and privacy carefully guarded while she tries to run her successful business and raise her son.

Heloise grew up as Helen Lewis, the daughter of an abusive father and submissive mother. When her father told her that her looks were forgettable (and later beat her), she took it to heart and now, as an adult, she tries to blend in, and avoid arousing anyone's suspicions. While she blames her father for the path her life took and her lack of education, they are the result of Heloise's own poor choices. But Heloise is intelligent and resourceful, as she manages to build up a successful business behind a legitimate business facade.

The chapters alternate between the current day Heloise and Helen from earlier times. As Heloise struggles with her current problems, we slowly learn what took place in her life as Helen and how her actions and decisions back then are encroaching on her life today. Heloise wants to live a quiet life with her son, Scott, but circumstances are looking more and more like someone wants her dead - and it could be Scott's father, a man who knows nothing about his son. Most people think Heloise is a widow, but Scott's father is alive and well - and in prison.

The suspense slowly builds as more and more of Heloise's past is revealed and the reader begins to suspect the problems that may arise in her present situation. While it's no real surprise who the bad guys are in this novel, it is a pleasure reading to find out what is going to happen next. In deference to Lippman's considerable talent and writing ability, I'll admit I read And When She Was Good quite quickly because I was simply unable to put it down.

I did struggle with an inability to be completely accepting of Helen's feelings that she was trapped in her life's choices. I just kept saying in my mind that her problems were a result of her poor choices. Yes her father was an abusive jerk, but he didn't force her down the path she chose. And, while I agree that in the sex and porn industry that the women are someone's daughter, neighbor, mother, sister, it should be noted that the men who objectify and take advantage of the woman are a large part of the problem. It is a hot topic that merits debate way beyond the scope of a novel.
Highly Recommended

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
This is a stand-alone psychological thriller from crime writer Laura Lippman. Heloise is a suburban Madame (posing as a lobbyist). We learn her life story--an abusive childhood from which she ran away to become a street prostitute, and her subsequent "rescue" by a wealthy pimp. The pimp is now serving a long jail sentence, but before going away set her up in her business. In her respectable suburb, she is known merely as a young widow, raising her son. She is leading a comfortable life, but when a Madame in nearby suburb turns up murdered, Heloise begins questioning her life. She is also concerned that her young son is becoming old enough to ask questions about her life. She decides she wants to leave the life and go "legit". However, this proves harder than she expected.

This is an interesting crime novel, with lots of information on the business of prostitution. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Mar 15, 2016 |
Originally posted on my blog




“She read books. She had always read books. But in this circumstance the books let her down. She needed more from them. She also needed less. More practical advice, less generic hysteria. What she required was a very particular volume, written just for her: What to Expect from Your Toddler When You Are Trying to Put Together Your Own Escort Service.”

Heloise Lewis is the envy of the other women in her neighbourhood. Or at least she tries to set herself apart from them. She runs the lobbying firm, she’s always stylishly dressed and put together, even at her son Scott’s soccer games.

But what the other moms and her neighbors don’t know is that the business is a front for her call girl service.

Heloise is a madam.

Her company, Women’s Full Employment Network, is

“a boutique lobbying firm whose mission statement identifies it as a nonprofit focused on income parity for all women. And when people hear that, they never want to know a single thing more about Heloise’s business, which is exactly as she planned it.”

And that pretty much is Heloise’s approach to her work. Very no nonsense, despite its rather tawdry nature. She is fully aware of the rules, especially those of the IRA, and tries to walk as straight a path as she is able, taking tips from companies such as Amazon.

Heloise is one tough cookie, stemming from her rather miserable childhood. With a father guilty about neglecting his other family (it’s complicated), she falls in with men who don’t treat her well, and ends up joining the world’s oldest profession.

Of course with Lippman’s prowess in detective fiction writing (at least from what I’ve heard about her Tess Monaghan series) there has to be a crime of some sort. And Lippman lets us know right from the start that there has been a murder – of another suburban madam. And that it might have something to do with her

The chapters flit between the strong well-defined woman Heloise of today and the more fragile, unsteady teenaged Heloise, then known as Helen. It takes some getting used to, this back and forth, but it allows the reader to marvel at how the Helen of yesterday has emerged from the tatters of her past to become Heloise today.

Laura Lippman has been on my to-be-read radar for a while now but when a writer has been so well established in a genre, I never quite know how to begin, where to begin, and too often end up drifting past those books on that shelf and going for something more obscure perhaps, or just avoiding this crime/mystery section all together.

So when I had the chance to read this book, thanks to TLC book tours and the publisher, I didn’t want to miss out.

And When She Was Good was a fascinating look into the details of the life of a madam, an absorbing character study of a rather different, quite unforgettable woman.
  RealLifeReading | Jan 19, 2016 |
For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead, an apparent suicide. As forty ooms and her son enters adolescence. Heloise is facing a mid-life crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know. With no formal education, no real family or friends, Heloise has to remake her life again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick is living long enough to start a new life. ( )
  jepeters333 | Sep 10, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For every woman I know,
but in particular the three L's-
Lauren Milne Henderson
Linda Perlstein
Lizzie Skurnick
-who manage, despite vast distances, to keep me
well fed, well shod, and reasonably sane.
First words
SUBURBAN MADAM DEAD IN APPARENT SUICIDE
The headline catches Heloise's eye as she waits in the always-long line at the Starbucks closest to her son's middle school.
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Book description
Suburban prostitute Heloise decides to leave the profession and disappear with her child after another prostitute is found dead, and must stay a step ahead of a convicted murderer--and the father of her child--whose sentence is about to be overturned.
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Suburban madam Heloise, with no one left to trust, decides to get out of the game when another suburban madam is brutally murdered, forcing her to stay one step ahead of a killer--and the father of her child--who is just as lethal behind bars as he was on the outside.… (more)

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