Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

Book description:
In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes . . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day.

Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom. But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths . . . and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's.

This light mystery novella is a far cry from Lippman's wonderful What the Dead Know which is truly unfortunate. Though the parallels with Rear Window are immediately obvious, this book had none of the suspense or thrill of the original. The plot could easily have been worked into a full length novel which would have given Lippman a chance to flesh out these characters enough to pull in the reader; as it was, I couldn't share Tess' obsession with the missing woman nor understand how or why Lloyd and May fit into things. The book was just too short in my opinion to pull me in; I finished it in just under two hours with no sense of satisfaction. 3 stars because the writing as always was good, there just wasn't enough of it.

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