Wilde Lake: Book summary and reviews of Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Wilde Lake

by Laura Lippman

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman X
Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman
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  • Published in USA  May 2016
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed standalones After I'm Gone, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.

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?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one's times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present's standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn't want to.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Lippman plays with the concept of truth and expertly homes in on the question of whether there are some truths we never want to know." - Publishers Weekly

"Although she overamps some reveals and shortchanges others, Lippman as always treads the fine line between certainty and amazement." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Wilde Lake
The famous Brandt family....could they do anything wrong or were they not able to because of their status? Or...did they do it anyway?

The Brandt family was made up of attorneys and secrets.? Lu and her brother AJ were eight years apart with Lu admiring AJ and his friends. The secrets kept all of those years of the night AJ saved someone's life along with another secret and how it affected their lives became apparent as the book continued.?

Wilde Lake tells the story through flashbacks.? The flashbacks allowed us into the Brandt family's history.?

Lu Brandt tells of her motherless childhood, how she admired her older brother, and of her adult life raising twins alone and being the ?first female state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, trying a homeless man for murder.

?As this trial moved forward quickly and then ended quickly, things that had happened in the past slowly creeped up.?

WILDE LAKE seemed more of a family saga than a mystery. ?I enjoyed the characters even though they all were a bit socially awkward.

WILDE LAKE dragged a little at times because I kept waiting for the mystery.

I can’t say I didn’t like the book, but it took a while to get to the mystery, but it was worth the wait.

ENJOY when you read WILDE LAKE. 4/5

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

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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.

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