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The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
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The Most Dangerous Thing (2011)

by Laura Lippman

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
This book had me from start to finish. It was amazing. I have read a couple of her books and I really like her. She is like a female James Patterson. Just when you think you have the book all figured out it turns you on your head and makes you realize you don't know anything. I call this a Law and Order twist because that is what the Law and Order series of tv shows is good for doing. It is definitely a must read. ( )
  Swade0710 | Mar 20, 2014 |
Separated by the passing of time, a group of five childhood friends reunite at a funeral. Long gone are the carefree days when they would spend hours together exploring the woods near their suburban homes. Those were adventurous days filled with the thrill of going off on their own, experiencing a little danger and fun, and forming a bond over the secrets they shared. As they eventually grew toward adulthood, they drifted apart; but one secret remained untold.

Now one of the five, Gordon, has died in a car accident. But was it an accident or was it a suicide? Has someone found out about what happened one night in the woods? Did this have something to do with Gordon’s death?

There are two stories to be told. One takes place back in the 70s and the other in the present. We alternate between the two with the point of view changing as each character tells a part of the story from their perspective. The events meshed together so well that, for the most part, I did not have any problem following the changes in narrator.

These were not the most likable characters; early on their many flaws become apparent. But flawed characters didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. On the contrary, the author wove together a mystery spanning several decades into a drama about friendship, personal growth, becoming an adult and accepting responsibility.

I listened to the audiobook and the production was well done. Linda Emond narrated at a nice pace, was pleasant to listen to and did a good job with her tone and inflection, making each character sound distinct.

This was my first Laura Lippman novel and I am pleased to have experienced her wonderful storytelling. The book was well written with a plot that moved along at an accelerating pace towards an ending where the pieces came together and the secret was revealed. A shocking secret? No, but not what I was expecting either. It was a surprise and a thought-provoking ending. ( )
  UnderMyAppleTree | Aug 7, 2013 |
‘As five we were mighty, the points on a star…Once we five joined, it was never boys against girls…Two of our triangles cut themselves off and ran away together, and we were never whole again. Never.’
Years ago, they were the best of friends. But as time passed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past – and the terrible lies they shared.
But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.
Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they’d done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear down on their souls.
My Thoughts:

What appealed to me about this book was it’s cover and the fact that mark Billingham has found the book compelling and suspenseful. That alone is good enough for me.

However I just can’t make up my mind about it. I enjoyed the story of the children growing up, running around wild and free in the woods until that fatal day. The second half of the story focused I think on every character in the book which I found a bit too much. The final section had the big reveal which having read this far I just had to find out. Which infact wasn’t really so big as what I hoped it would be.

Did I like this book, well maybe but there were things that I didn’t like. I felt I was watching one of them movies that I just had to watch to see how things were going to end and then I felt well why did I bother. What bugged me was that there was another person who narrates the first part about the children and that person is never known and never revealed. If there were clues then I just didn’t find them.

Books like this niggle me because I never can make up my mind if I liked it or not. Part of me says yes and part of says no way. The more I muster on it the more I think I am going to say no I didn’t enjoy it but maybe if it were made into a tv series/film then I would watch it to see how it is potrayed. ( )
  tina1969 | Apr 7, 2013 |
I liked the way Lippman told the story from multiple points of view and different time periods and then wove them all together with a twist at the end. ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Pretty good, though I found the ending underwhelming. ( )
  pidgeon92 | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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For Georgia Rae Simon
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They throw him out when he falls off the barstool.
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Book description
With The Most Dangerous Thing, Laura Lippman demonstrates how storytelling is done to perfection. Set once again in the well-wrought environs of Lippman’s beloved Baltimore, it is the shadowy tale of a group of onetime friends forced to confront a dark past they’ve each tried to bury following the death of one of their number. Rich in the compassion and insight into flawed human nature that has become a Lippman trademark while telling an absolutely gripping story, The Most Dangerous Thing will not be confined by genre restrictions, reaching out instead to captive a wide, diverse audience, from Harlan Coben and Kate Atkinson fans to readers of Jodi Picoult and Kathryn Stockett.

Years ago, they were all the best of friends.  But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past - and the terrible lie they all shared.  
But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years. 
And then the revelations start.
Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today?  Is it more dangerous to admit to what they've done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them?
Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered - and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061706515, Hardcover)

Product Description
Some secrets can’t be kept…

Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.

And then the revelations start.

Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they’ve done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them? Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered—and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.

Amazon Exclusive: Kate Atkinson Interviews Laura Lippman

Kate Atkinson‘s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the U.K. in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Not the End of the World, Case Histories and One Good Turn.

Kate Atkinson: You employ the first person plural in parts of the new novel. It’s quite a startling device (I loved it in Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End). Why did you use it in The Most Dangerous Thing?

Laura Lippman: The decision was intuitive at first—that is, I knew it was right, without knowing why it was right. When I finished the book, I realized that these passages are a consensual version of what happened in the past, that the survivors have agreed on what happened and that’s why the story is, at turns, unflattering to each of them. They are working out their level of culpability in several tragedies and they just can’t face this alone. And that voice allowed me to include a subtext of gloom and foreboding—the story is being told by people who know how badly it ends.

KA: Do you think you write better now than you did when you first began to write novels? (I only ask because I think I’m a much better writer than I used to be but no one else seems to have noticed.) Do you feel you can trust your “inner critic” or are you plagued by doubts the whole time you are writing?

LL: At the risk of sounding obsequious, I have to say that you set the bar awfully high for yourself with Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but I’ve noticed how your work has changed, although I think the word that comes to mind isn’t better, but bolder. You take such big risks and yet you manage them with aplomb. The frustration of being a fan of your work is that there’s nothing quite like it. There are lots of wonderful writers in crime and literary fiction, but there’s only person who can write a Kate Atkinson novel.

I didn’t start out on the same level. That’s not poor-mouthing, as my Southern relatives would have it, but a fact on which everyone agrees. People tell me all the time—really, all the time—how far I’ve come since my first book. But, whether one writes a great first novel or simply a decent one, what are the choices? One can get better, worse, or stay the same. I shoot for better and I accept that there may be some dips, but they’ll come from trying new things at least, not doing the same things over and over. I do trust my inner critic, but I'm happy to have a circle of external critics that I trust as well.

KA: You “honor” the dead in your novels rather than exploit them for sadistic effect. Do you think that’s due to your background as a reporter butting up against real lives rather than fictional ones? Or because you’re a woman? Or just a decent human being?

LL: All of the above? At least, I hope I’m a decent person. I do think crime writers need to take a moment for introspection about the stories we’re telling and the bodies that are piling up around us. It’s somber stuff. There should be an agenda beyond sensation.

KA: How many novels do you have on the back burner at any one time? Have you ever sat down to write and not had any idea what you were going to do?

LL: Once—just once—I managed to have two projects going on simultaneously, a novel and a novella. I do best with one thing in front of me. And, increasingly, I have no idea what I’m going to write next. But that’s part of the job and, for me, part of the fun. I know a book is finished when I’m ready to sit down and ask myself, “What next, what interests me right now?” With The Most Dangerous Thing, I was interested in the way life becomes a kind of horror film at middle age. About two months after I started this book, my father-in-law died after a long decline. About the same time, one of my husband’s oldest friends, dating back to his days on the college newspaper, had a stroke at the age of 48, and died within hours. Yesterday, I picked up The New York Times and happened on a first-person piece by a former colleague, who wrote about having ALS and his intention to commit suicide while he was still able-bodied. He's only 66.

But I also became a parent for the first time last year, which isn’t one of the typical milestones of middle-age, yet there it was. And it had a huge impact on the book.

KA: Do you feel guilty when you’re not writing, even when the other thing you’re doing is totally fulfilling or completely altruistic or utterly well deserved?

LL: If I’ve been disciplined—gone to my desk every weekday morning, written at least 1,000 words—I seldom feel guilty. I feel much more guilt-ridden about not reading enough.

But I will steal a line from Anne Lamott, who once said if people knew how good she felt writing they would set her on fire. Just this morning I was working and it wasn’t an on-fire moment, but it wasn’t a bad day either. Just an average one, the kind of days one has in the dead middle of books. I took a sip of my latte, looked at the clock on my computer and thought: It is 10:10 a.m. and my job is to sit here and make things up. I am a very lucky person.

KA: “I've never wanted people to feel good at the end of my novels,” you said in a Publishers Weekly interview. But do you feel good when you finish?

LL: I feel fabulous. It's the best day of the year. But even on a book-a-year schedule, that means I feel fabulous only one day a year. As someone who takes great pride in completing things, I’ve chosen an interesting little hell for myself.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:20 -0400)

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Once the best of friends until a terrible secret tore them apart, a group of friends are suddenly brought back together under tragic circumstances and wonder if their long-ago lie is the reason for their troubles today and if someone is out to destroy them.… (more)

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