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Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
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Wilde Lake

by Laura Lippman

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4444636,685 (3.68)27
Luisa "Lu" Brant is the newly elected-- and first female-- state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It's not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard County doesn't see many homicides. As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small, but tight-knit, family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man's life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?… (more)
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    The King of Lies by John Hart (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In small towns where grown children have complicated relationships with their fathers, lawyers find that repressed family histories come bubbling to the surface in the wake of dramatic murder cases. Both novels mix legal intrigue with suspense and genuine emotion.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Wilde Lake not only was an engrossing book it also gave me a new favorite author that I really need to read more books by. Why haven't I read anything by Laura Lippman before? Wilde Lake jumps between the present story with Luisa "Lu" Brant investigating as an attorney a murder and through flashbacks to the 80s do we get to know more about Lu's childhood, her growing up with her father and brother and a murder case that made her father, who was an attorney too, famous. We also learn about the night Lu's brother saved his best friends life at the cost of another man's life.

Boy, there are secrets in this book. A busload of them. And, I really loved getting to the bottom of the story because nothing is at it seems. Flawed characters, terrible secrets, and really flesh out characters and all starts with the murder that Lu is investigating. Fabulous book! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Description
Fiercely ambitious Luisa "Lu" Brant is the first female state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, and she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. As Lu prepares, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small, but tight-knit, family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man's life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them.

This wasn’t a straightforward murder mystery. It switched back and forth between Lu’s childhood and her adulthood in the present with a lot of focus on relationships in the family and between friends. The mystery between the drifter who killed a woman in her home and his connection to Lu’s family is revealed slowly in bits throughout the story. There were a lot of interesting things about the story but I don’t think I liked it as much as I could have because I couldn’t relate or sympathize much with Lu. ( )
  gaylebutz | May 12, 2019 |
Laura Lippman’s “Wilde Lake” (2016) is a novel that starts small and stays that way for a long time until eventually stray pieces come together in surprising ways that may leave readers gasping.

In alternating chapters Lippman tells of Lu Brant, newly elected state attorney, preparing to prosecute her first murder case and of her girlhood as the daughter of another state attorney and a brother, A.J., several years older.

The murder case seems like a slam dunk. The defendant’s DNA was found at the scene. The most interesting aspect of the case to her is that he is being defended by the man she defeated in the recent election.

As for her memories of her youth, they mostly center on her brother and his friends, one of whom, all these years later, is now her secret lover — secret because he’s married and she certainly doesn’t need a scandal.

Even though not much of note happens during most of this novel, Lippman is a skilled writer who knows how to keep her readers hooked even when the hook is small. Not until the final chapters do readers, along with Lu herself, discover how the two threads of the story — her murder case and her family history — tie together. Then a tame, if interesting story, becomes riveting. ( )
  hardlyhardy | May 7, 2019 |
This is the first Laura Lippman book I have read and I reallly enjoyed it. It is hard to describe what genre this book belongs to. There is a crime/legal story line but there is also a huge dramatic aspect with family and small town relationships being a huge part of the story.

The Brant family have moved to the small designed community of Columbia in Howard County Maryland. The kids go to Wilde Lake high school and it is a close knit community. Lu Brant has married and moved away, but came back home when her husband died. She ran for and was elected State's Attorney for the county. While investigating for an upcoming murder trial she begins to uncover information about a murder from 35 years earlier that her brother was involved in. Lu is a tenacious lawyer and investigator and can not let it go. She continues to ask questions and investigate even when it is no longer important for the trial. She is a somewhat unlikable character due to her competitive nature and rather brusque personality, but she does what she feels she needs to to. This story explores family relationships, community relationships involving childhood friends, lies of omission, what people will do to protect one another and the legal system itself. It is told from Lu's point of view in both the past and the present. Even though it kept going back and forth in time, I had no problem following the story. The characters were very well fleshed out. You got to know them and their motivations. I really enjoyed this story and recommend it to anyone who enjoys legal dramas and family relationship stories. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
I think the reason that I "liked" this book was due to the familiarity of the locations. Although I don't live in Howard County, I am familiar with Columbia as well as the Northern Baltimore and Baltimore City landmarks referenced in the book. I wasn't crazy about the characters, and find it hard to believe that the events that happened in 1977 would come around to relate to the present day. I also didn't like the behavior of the characters in the book. I have tried numerous Laura Lippman books and I just haven't clicked with them. I did think it was an interesting technique to go back and forth from present day to years ago to tell the story. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
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In memory of Theo Lippman Jr., 1929 - 2014
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When my brother was eighteen, he broke his arm in an accident that ended in another young man's death.
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