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Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
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3543046,851 (3.71)12



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the premise of this one is interesting, though it didn't quite come together as well as i thought it would. i felt like things didn't go deep enough with the daughters, ruby and alanna. i also like when crow and kitty are a bit more present in the plot, which they aren't here. one storyline ((view spoiler)) didn't work for me. still, i enjoy this series - the characters and the city of baltimore are well done - and lippman always comes up with intriguing mystery ideas. ( )
  Booktrovert | Jun 18, 2018 |
Rejoice, Laura Lippman fans! Tess is back! Tess, now the mother of a three-year-old, has a retired “murder police” as her new partner and a complicated childcare schedule, but she’s still Tess. She’s not one to pull metaphorical punches (at least not without deliberate effort), her curiosity is difficult to suppress, and her food choices are occasionally questionable. She would rather not deal with her current client, but loyalty to her friend and former employer, Tyner Gray, prevails. Melisandre Harris Dawes has returned to Baltimore after more than a decade of self-imposed exile after a judge ruled her not guilty due to insanity in the death of her two-year-old daughter. Melisandre wants to reunite with her two older daughters, now teenagers, and preferably on camera, since she’s self-funding a documentary about women, the insanity plea, and filicide. Tess can’t help but worry about Melisandre’s apparent prowess in the art of manipulation, particularly once her client is under scrutiny in a new murder investigation. On top of it all, Tess is increasingly unnerved by a series of notes delivered by a judgmental stalker who taps into Tess’s insecurities regarding motherhood. Fans of the Tess Monaghan series will enjoy this book and are likely to have a greater appreciation for storylines involving recurring characters, but it is accessible to new readers. Hush Hush is classic Lippman—the story is rooted in character and goes beyond the crimes themselves to explore the effects of the violent acts on the families and friends of the perpetrators and victims. For Tess, this case blurs the line between personal and professional in authentic and interesting ways. The result is an intriguing blend of character study, crime fiction, and family drama.

Rachel H. / Marathon County Public Library
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( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Hush Hush was pretty good. A little repetitive at times. It wasn't a book that i was anxious to get back to, but I enjoyed it.
( )
  sarahjvigen | Mar 23, 2017 |
A suspicious death seems to be a direct link to a case of infanticide that took place twelve years earlier. When Missy Dawes was found not guilty by reason of insanity for her baby’s murder, she agreed with her husband not to have any contact with her two remaining daughters. But now she is back in town, doing a documentary on mothers who murder their infants, and wants to interview her daughters. This dysfunctional family is awash in secrets and strange behaviors. Tess, hired to provide security for Missy, finds herself drawn deeper into the mystery of the deaths. A page-turning thriller, there are enough clues for the reader to assess what is going on and who is the guilty party, but enough twists and red herrings that he or she probably won’t, until close to the end of this gripping tale. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 25, 2016 |
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman is the highly recommended twelfth book in the series featuring P.I. Tess Monaghan. Tess is now dealing with juggling work, her relationship with Crow, and the logistics of having a three year old daughter, Carla Scout.

When Tess and her partner, ex-homicide cop Sandy Sanchez, are asked to help with security by Tyner Gray, her mentor and an attorney who just happens to be married to Tess's Aunt Kitty, it is a given she will say yes. The client just happens to be the infamous Melisandre Harris Dawes. Twelve years earlier Melisandre left her infant daughter in a hot car to die. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity based on evidence that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time. Melisandre left the USA, and her two young daughters in the custody of her ex-husband, Stephen, after her treatment was completed.

Now she has returned to Baltimore along with a documentary filmmaker, Harmony Burns. She commissioned the documentary ostensibly to examine the insanity defense, but in reality she is hoping to capture on film her reunion with her daughters, 17-year-old Alanna and 15-year-old Ruby. The trouble is her ex has remarried, has a new wife and a new infant, and is not interested in allowing the reunion to take place. She doesn't have a clue what her daughters might want. Included at various points within the narrative are several transcripts of Harmony's interviews for the documentary, so you can learn about Melisandre's past infamy and how that notoriety might affect her now.

Melisandre is an intensively disagreeable, haughty character who is used to getting her way and easy to dislike. Tyner seems to jump at her every summons and, strangely enough, she doesn't seem particularly interested in listening to any security measures Tess and Sandy suggest. Melisandre also seems to be manipulating almost everyone around her in some way, but, she also pays very well and Tess can use the income. Then, just as Melisandre starts receiving weird, vaguely threatening notes from a presumed stalker, Tess also starts receiving notes from an unknown source.

While working for Melisandre, Tess is struggling with the demands of being a mother of an active three year old. It is challenging to juggle work and motherhood and Tess doubts her ability to be a good mother. At the same time her relationship with Crow, while good, seems to have all sorts of new food rules now that Carla Scout is here. It is also challenging to do it all - work full time and care for a very active, rather obnoxious child. No wonder Tess questions her ability to do it all.

Lippman keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace, which make reading Hush Hush a pleasure. There isn't any filler here. While it's not an intense, action-packed thriller, it does cover the backstory and the current events without a wasted word. The novel is either covering the people and actions surrounding Melisandre or Tess. For those who don't know Tess or other returning characters, Lippman brings you up to speed quickly. It's not going to matter if this is your first Lippman book featuring Tess or your twelfth. I'm going to have to admit that I like this maturing Tess, who struggles with being a working mother, more than the Tess in earlier books.

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from HarperCollins for the TLC tour of reviews. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
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Baltimore private detective and new parent Tess Monaghan is plunged into a disturbing case involving murder, a manipulative mother, and a judgmental stalker that has been watching her every move.

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