Customer Reviews for

I'd Know You Anywhere

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

A COMPELLING STORY OF CAPTIVE AND CAPTOR

Prepare to be mesmerized, totally enthralled, and left with your mind questioning the meaning of true justice. Laura Lippman, author of the acclaimed Tess Monaghan series and last year's best selling Life Sentences, shows her mettle as a writer of intense, character ...
Prepare to be mesmerized, totally enthralled, and left with your mind questioning the meaning of true justice. Laura Lippman, author of the acclaimed Tess Monaghan series and last year's best selling Life Sentences, shows her mettle as a writer of intense, character driven, psychological dramas with the superb I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE.
This is a story that will linger with you long after you've read the last page or heard the last word.

Eliza Benedict is a seemingly unflappable mother of two living in suburban Maryland with her husband, Peter, and two children. The eldest is Isobel who has chosen to be called "Iso," although her father thinks it should be "Izzo" or people will see it as short for "isotope." She's a difficult teenager seeming to dislike everything since the family's return to America after six years in England. The Benedict son, 8-year-old Albie, is an affable child often plagued by nightmares.

All seems relatively normal in the household until the day a letter arrives - a "real letter" as Iso calls it addressed to "Elizabeth," the name she used "before" as Eliza now terms it. The "before" refers to before she was kidnapped the summer she was 15 by Walter Bowman, held captive for almost six weeks and then raped before miraculously finding herself free. The letter is from Bowman who is now on Death Row for killing another young girl and suspected of killing more. He wants to talk to Elizabeth as he still calls her.

Eliza has successfully managed to compartmentalize what happened to her that long ago summer. Peter knows about most of it, and the children know nothing. She believed that she had kept herself hidden from anyone connected with that event - from the unscrupulous writer who had penned a tacky version of her time with Bowman, from the press who might like to revive the story now that Bowman's execution date is nearing, and from Bowman himself.

She fears not only for herself but for her family, yet she also finds that she unable to totally escape from the control Bowman once held over her. Why did he let her live while the other girls died? Did she owe him anything? Does she owe a debt to the families of the other victims? Eliza answers his letter hoping that will be the end of it, but he asks for a phone call. He knows what strings to pull just as she recognizes the terrifying sociopath he is and the man he believes himself to be.

Alternating between past and present Lippman's story is scrupulously plotted as she details the affect the kidnappings have had not only on the victims and their families, but on others as well. These characters are clearly drawn, not only physically but psychologically as the story builds to a surprising denouement.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke

posted by GailCooke on September 24, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Not my kind of book..

I picked this book up because the concept seemed like it could have been interesting, and it had relatively high reviews. I ended up finishing the book only because I hate to start a book and not finish it. Getting through was work though..

"I'd Know You Anywhere" wa...
I picked this book up because the concept seemed like it could have been interesting, and it had relatively high reviews. I ended up finishing the book only because I hate to start a book and not finish it. Getting through was work though..

"I'd Know You Anywhere" was very slow going from the start. I found myself very bored two chapters in and it was hard for me to read more than a few pages at a time without pushing myself to go on. Only once or twice in the entirety of the book did I find myself actually wanting to read on and discover what happened next.

Beyond the fact that it was slow going, I felt the author was missing key descriptive passages. Where she over-explained and described certain scenes/houses/landscapes I felt she under-described the characters. The main character "Eliza" is a red head with kinky hair and a "shapely" body. That's about all I gathered. Her children weren't really described at all until well into the book, and other characters weren't even described at all.

I also found the authors writing style struck me as cheap and tawdry. The [brand] name dropping just stomped all over my nerves. Perhaps that's just not a style of writing I like, but the constant references to particular brand names and products just seemed ridiculous and I felt it will leave the book very dated in ten years.
At times it seemed the author was using bigger words than the story.

Certain characters (Trudy Tackett) were randomly introduced and had absolutely no purpose to add to the story line. It seemed like just a way to bounce the story around and draw it out..

The entire story hinted all along at some large unknown secret with absolutely no hints or indication as to what the big mystery was. The big "mystery" which didn't even climax until twenty or so pages to the end of the book was in the end pretty predictable and anti-climactic.

Overall, just not something I'd really recommend.

posted by SunnyMuffins on December 14, 2010

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A COMPELLING STORY OF CAPTIVE AND CAPTOR

    Prepare to be mesmerized, totally enthralled, and left with your mind questioning the meaning of true justice. Laura Lippman, author of the acclaimed Tess Monaghan series and last year's best selling Life Sentences, shows her mettle as a writer of intense, character driven, psychological dramas with the superb I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE.
    This is a story that will linger with you long after you've read the last page or heard the last word.

    Eliza Benedict is a seemingly unflappable mother of two living in suburban Maryland with her husband, Peter, and two children. The eldest is Isobel who has chosen to be called "Iso," although her father thinks it should be "Izzo" or people will see it as short for "isotope." She's a difficult teenager seeming to dislike everything since the family's return to America after six years in England. The Benedict son, 8-year-old Albie, is an affable child often plagued by nightmares.

    All seems relatively normal in the household until the day a letter arrives - a "real letter" as Iso calls it addressed to "Elizabeth," the name she used "before" as Eliza now terms it. The "before" refers to before she was kidnapped the summer she was 15 by Walter Bowman, held captive for almost six weeks and then raped before miraculously finding herself free. The letter is from Bowman who is now on Death Row for killing another young girl and suspected of killing more. He wants to talk to Elizabeth as he still calls her.

    Eliza has successfully managed to compartmentalize what happened to her that long ago summer. Peter knows about most of it, and the children know nothing. She believed that she had kept herself hidden from anyone connected with that event - from the unscrupulous writer who had penned a tacky version of her time with Bowman, from the press who might like to revive the story now that Bowman's execution date is nearing, and from Bowman himself.

    She fears not only for herself but for her family, yet she also finds that she unable to totally escape from the control Bowman once held over her. Why did he let her live while the other girls died? Did she owe him anything? Does she owe a debt to the families of the other victims? Eliza answers his letter hoping that will be the end of it, but he asks for a phone call. He knows what strings to pull just as she recognizes the terrifying sociopath he is and the man he believes himself to be.

    Alternating between past and present Lippman's story is scrupulously plotted as she details the affect the kidnappings have had not only on the victims and their families, but on others as well. These characters are clearly drawn, not only physically but psychologically as the story builds to a surprising denouement.

    Highly recommended.

    - Gail Cooke

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, by Laura Lippman,

    As a teenager, Elizabeth was kidnapped by a man who was later convicted of killing another young woman and sent to death row. Elizabeth returns to her family, who move to a different area in Maryland and she resumes her teenage life. She changes her name to Eliza and goes on with her life, gets through college and marries a good man, Peter Benedict. As Eliza Benedict, she has two children and a happy, if serene, life as wife and mother. Twenty-five years pass from the crimes of 1985 and by 2008 Bowman, the kidnapper, has reached the end of his appeals and his date with death approaches. Eliza receives a letter from Bowman as the result of Eliza's photograph appearing in the society section of a local magazine that Walter read in prison...Exciting, intriguing reading!

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting book

    This book is not what I would consider an easy, cozy read, but it is worth the time it takes to finish it. It contrasts three women, all of whose lives have been significantly impacted by one man - a man on death row for crimes against young women.

    I can't honestly say I liked any of the women, and usually that is the end of a novel for me - but in this case there was enough good in one of them to keep me reading, and enough situational sympathy for another that I found myself wondering if under the same circumstances I might not become very like her.

    The book surprised me in the end, and made me think about life and circumstances in ways I haven't before. For that alone it was worth reading.

    This isn't a quick beach read, but it's a good book for autumn and winter, with a cup of tea, a cozy fire, and time for thought and introspection.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2010

    Not my kind of book..

    I picked this book up because the concept seemed like it could have been interesting, and it had relatively high reviews. I ended up finishing the book only because I hate to start a book and not finish it. Getting through was work though..

    "I'd Know You Anywhere" was very slow going from the start. I found myself very bored two chapters in and it was hard for me to read more than a few pages at a time without pushing myself to go on. Only once or twice in the entirety of the book did I find myself actually wanting to read on and discover what happened next.

    Beyond the fact that it was slow going, I felt the author was missing key descriptive passages. Where she over-explained and described certain scenes/houses/landscapes I felt she under-described the characters. The main character "Eliza" is a red head with kinky hair and a "shapely" body. That's about all I gathered. Her children weren't really described at all until well into the book, and other characters weren't even described at all.

    I also found the authors writing style struck me as cheap and tawdry. The [brand] name dropping just stomped all over my nerves. Perhaps that's just not a style of writing I like, but the constant references to particular brand names and products just seemed ridiculous and I felt it will leave the book very dated in ten years.
    At times it seemed the author was using bigger words than the story.

    Certain characters (Trudy Tackett) were randomly introduced and had absolutely no purpose to add to the story line. It seemed like just a way to bounce the story around and draw it out..

    The entire story hinted all along at some large unknown secret with absolutely no hints or indication as to what the big mystery was. The big "mystery" which didn't even climax until twenty or so pages to the end of the book was in the end pretty predictable and anti-climactic.

    Overall, just not something I'd really recommend.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I'd Know You Anywhere forces you to constantly reassess the appropriateness of human interaction and to consider the boundaries that exist within all of us.

    This book is part mystery and part psychological thriller and although mystery is not my thing, the psychological thriller part is. I'm fascinated by the human mind and the complexity of human relationships. The relationship between Eliza(beth) and Walter is disturbing at times. Lippman manages to create sympathy where no sympathy should exist. Walter is a serial killer, but there are times when I understood where he was coming from. As disturbing as this is for me to admit, it helped me understand Eliza(beth) and why she would even consider having a conversation with this man after what he did to her.

    The mechanics of control and the lack thereof are big here. Walter can read Eliza(beth) pretty well. He also knows how to push her buttons and as much as Eliza(beth) wants to, she cannot put him completely out of her life. She has her own demons to battle and as the lone survivor, she is often misunderstood by the other victim's parents. Mainly because she never tried to escape, and she failed to save Walter's last victim even though she was in a position to do so.

    In addition to the main characters, Lippman introduces us to Barbara, the friend on the outside who is determined to save Walter from death row. Let me tell you, Barbara is a piece of work. Well-to-do but rude as hell and full of herself. I did not like her at all and although she too, was a victim of violence, I felt nothing for her but contempt. The inclusion of such a character is interesting because it just goes to show you that there are all kinds of people out there and just knowing this puts you in a vulnerable position.

    This was my first experience with Lippman's writing and although I felt that the characters were emotionally reserved in places, I can see myself picking up another Lippman book in the future. Also, it should be noted that the violence depicted in this novel is not written with great detail. You are given just enough to know what happened, the rest is left up to your imagination.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    meh

    meh

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    Kind of Recommends

    A death row serial killer reaching out to his one living victim after 20 years is kind of a stretch; especially since the victim agrees to see him. She even talks to him frequently on the phone! He sees her as a way to stop his execution. The main character, Elisabeth/Eliza, has a husband to die for but he's not believeable either -- nobody's that good. Setting all that aside, it's a good read but certainly has its flaws. The killer is very well done.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bridget's Review

    I loved this book! Laura is one of my favorite authors and this book was amazing! It's unlike any other book I have ever read. If you only read one book this year, make it I'd Know You Anywhere.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Commander White

    So...

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  • Posted March 18, 2014

    Disappointing

    I guess that the "Tess Monaghan" series spoiled me because I am having a great deal of trouble wading through this book. I keep going back to it and read more, but it doesn't take long before I set it aside for something else. It is not exactly the Laura Lippman style that I am used to. Sorry Laura! I really love your style, but this really doesn't even sound like you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    TO CONFUSED CHEERLEADERS

    Cheer camp is not takig place here it is one the book below this one

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    Not that goog

    The idea was good for this.bok but the book was hard for.me to read. There were times when i jist wanted to norlt read it. It got very boring in some parts and i would literally fall asleep. All in all not one of my favorites and alot of it cpuld have been edited out and the book would have still made sense

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  • Posted November 21, 2012

    This book had so much potential, but from the start, we are give

    This book had so much potential, but from the start, we are given two dimentional characters, and I ulitmately could not stir up much empathy for any of them, or disgust at the villan of the story. The writer gives us scene upon scene which should provoke strong emotions of one kind or another, but the characters react/interact as if they have just been told that a neighbor just bought a new lawnmower. The husband can most charitbly be described as being a bit of a dull knife, and the main character simply walks around in a daze the majority of the time. I ended up wanting to walk into the scenes and shaking some life and intelligence into them. Every opportunity to delve deeply into the pysche was jerked away by the writer suddenly moving on to the next scene.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Very Good Book

    This is the first book I have read by Laura Lippman. I am from Baltimore and it was enjoyable reading a book where the setting is my hometown. Aside from the interesting locale, the book was a quick read and kept my interest. Definitely good enough for me to want to read her other novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    So good

    I luv this book so much i wish there was more books like this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Page Turner

    Engrossing crime novel that reads "for real". Couldn't put it down. Oh, and a perfect ending!

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  • Posted November 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really good story!!

    I really enjoyed this book.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Gets better and better as it goes along

    I didn't like Eliza that much to begin with, but I liked the book. It had a good feel for some of the upwardly-mobile yuppie mommies in the D.C. area, and it had interesting reflections on sibling relationships (both between Eliza's own children, and between Eliza and her sister. ) And I liked the ending. Eliza refused in the end to be manipulated by that old male trick of, "you didn't give me what I wanted, so you're undesirable." I liked Eliza a lot better after the end of the book.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What would you say 20 years later to the man who kidnapped you?

    This is my first novel by Laura Lippman. I was intrigued by the subject matter/plot, so I picked it up, not knowing that Ms. Lippman has a string of previous novels. A death row inmate contacts his only surviving victim who holds a secret of her own about their time together? I felt very intrigued.

    Going into the novel, though, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I was hoping it would jump right into the "real" plot. It started out slow and monotonous, giving us seemingly unimportant and mundane details about the now-adult victim's homelife with her two kids. They moved back to the states from London, blah, blah, blah. Then, Eliza receives the first letter from Walter, the man who kidnapped her and held her hostage for a month when she was a teenager. That's when the story started to really get interesting. I loved the "connection" between Eliza and Walter. Every chapter that had a current exchange between them, or a flashback to Walter's exploits as a young man either with or without Eliza, had me hooked. I wanted to know what he had done, and I wanted to know why. Eliza's background, I could care less about. It was Walter's past, the so-called serial killer's, that was so fascinating.

    The point of view of the novel altered with every chapter. It was a bit confusing at times at the start of the chapter, until I realized whose point of view it was that I was reading. Sometimes, we're given the point of view of Walter, or Eliza, or Barbara (the mysterious woman who is acting as Walter's liaison with the outside world), or Trudy (the mother of one of Walter's last victim). Do we care about Barbara's point of view? Or Trudy's? No, not really. It's Walter's and Eliza's that really give us the "meat" of the story and kept me reading on.

    When all secrets and truths come out in the end during Eliza's and Walter's final meeting face-to-face with only jail cell bars between them, I felt a little disappointed. The mystery was interesting and well-written, but I guess I wanted more. Maybe I even expected more. There was a lot leading up to this moment and when it finally happened, it felt rushed. The author didn't even give us all the details I was hoping for about Walter and his past. Lippman felt the need to go on and on about Eliza's children's antics and school situations, but didn't feel the need to give readers details about her main character? That, to me, felt like a poor decision.

    I do recommend I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE and I think the author writes very well, but I do think it could have been better.

    One of my favorite lines:
    "No one had to be stupid. Stupid was a choice." Ahh...so true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    boring and uneventful

    perhaps the book was intended to show the relationship between captor and prisoner, and the repercussions that follow. I felt the book went nowhere, a lot of material was repetitive, characters were underdeveloped.

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