Hush Hush: Book summary and reviews of Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Hush Hush

A Tess Monaghan Novel

by Laura Lippman

Hush Hush by Laura Lippman X
Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2015
    384 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn't sure he approves.

Now that's she's a mother herself - short on time, patience - Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre's lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre's security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she's encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she's been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well ...

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. After writing several excellent stand-alone novels (After I'm Gone), Lippman returns to her popular series sleuth in this compelling mystery about a good mother gone bad. Strongly recommended for the author's fans as well as readers who enjoy stories about female PIs such as Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. Lippman expertly delves into what it means to be mad - and more importantly, what comes next." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Lippman's latest installment in the Tess Monaghan series weaves an exploration of the joys and frustrations of motherhood with a clever and engaging mystery." - Kirkus

The information about Hush Hush shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

FictionZeal

from FictionZeal.com re: Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
We’ve all seen these types of news stories – Child dies after having been left in a hot car. As mad as it makes us all, and as horrific as it sounds, most of these cases were not intended to kill the child. In real life, I hate to hear these stories, but it makes good fodder for fiction. More specifically, was it Melisandre (Missy) Harris Dawes’ intention to kill her two-month old daughter that hot August day? At the start of this novel, the incident was ten years prior. Melisandre had been acquitted of the murder (insanity); she left her husband, Stephen Dawes; signed away her parental rights to her other two daughters; and left the country. Now, Melisandre is very wealthy and she’s back. She wants to reunite with her children. She’s making a documentary and wants to film the details of her criminal case as well as her reunion with her girls. Initially, it looks as if Alanna and Ruby (now teenagers) would agree to meet her, but they’ve changed their minds. Her ex supports the girl’s decision.

Tess’ life has been turned upside down since the birth of her own daughter, Carla Scout, who is now three years old. She has discovered first-hand how difficult children can be at times, but is abhorred by the idea that someone would be driven to take the life of their own child. Attorney Tyner Gray is Tess’ friend and Missy’s lawyer. He asks that Tess meet with Missy, as Missy is receiving hate mail with threatening tones. Tess is not thrilled with this case, but the pay is good so she agrees. Then, one of Missy’s colleagues is poisoned. Was it intended for Missy? Well, probably!

Once you get past the anger issues you may feel with the subject matter, the mystery begins to pick up and unfold in the present time in Baltimore, MD. Time is given over to personal reflections of Tess and her partner Sandy Sanchez as they think about their own children in light of Missy’s past actions. As an understatement, Missy was not a likeable character. You’d think she would show signs of remorse … but, she never does. As with most series, it can be read as a standalone, but the reader would miss how the main characters develop over time. I rated Hush Hush at 4 out of 5.

Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Hush Hush
Did she or didn't she?

Melisandre was found not guilty, but was the charge of insanity the correct charge? How could anyone not be guilty of forgetting her child in a hot car?

After the trial, Melisandre left the country and lost custody of her other two children.

Melisandre returned years later, but when another murder occurred and she was present, she wasn't going to be going anywhere.

The characters in HUSH, HUSH were an interesting mix and most were not likable. Melisandre was evil and manipulative, and her ex-husband wasn't a nice person. The girls, Alanna and Ruby, were ok. They were confused and were the way they were because of their crazy mother and their sneaky father.

HUSH, HUSH was set up in an interesting way. The book started? out with an interview and had several throughout the book with people who knew Melisandre because Melisandre wanted to make a documentary about when she met her estranged daughters. I didn't understand what the documentary was going to prove or the purpose of it. HUSH, HUSH then went back and forth between Melisandre and Tess's life and actually all over the place.

HUSH, HUSH was difficult for me to follow. Not sure if it was the way it was set up or just the storyline. I also couldn't keep the characters straight. It did get a bit better toward the end but was still confusing even though the ending pages wrapped it all up.

I was disappointed because I always enjoy Ms. Lippman's books. 3/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Laura Lippman Author Biography

Jim Burger

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about "accidental PI" Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. 

Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards.

She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade.

After ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Laura Lippman's Website

Other books by Laura Lippman at BookBrowse

18 more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more mysteries...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Fake Like Me
    Fake Like Me
    by Barbara Bourland
    After years of trying to make it as a painter in New York City, the unnamed narrator of Fake Like Me...
  • Book Jacket: Hungry
    Hungry
    by Jeff Gordinier
    Noma, René Redzepi's restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered among the ...
  • Book Jacket: With the Fire on High
    With the Fire on High
    by Elizabeth Acevedo
    From Like Water for Chocolate to Ratatouille, writers have recognized the power ...
  • Book Jacket: Lanny
    Lanny
    by Max Porter
    At once beautifully poignant and hauntingly grotesque, Max Porter's Lanny is like an unexpected ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.