Customer Reviews for

What the Dead Know

Average Rating 3.5
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Mystery and lies!

A hit and run on a Maryland highway, and a very cold murder case heats up. The police pick up the woman driver, who has a minor head injury, and the story she begins to tell is stunning. She knows so much about the disappearance of a pair of sisters more than 15 years a...
A hit and run on a Maryland highway, and a very cold murder case heats up. The police pick up the woman driver, who has a minor head injury, and the story she begins to tell is stunning. She knows so much about the disappearance of a pair of sisters more than 15 years ago, so she must know what she's talking about. The trouble is, she refuses to identify herself.
Laura Lippman teases her readers with one electifying discovery after another, not releasing us from suspense until the final surprising chapter. This is a literate, thinking person's mystery, with layers of nuance, characters so genuine, you might wish you knew them, and an intricate, credible plot that never lets up for a minute. She skillfully presents the unsolved crime from the point of view of those most fully involved, from the victims to the perpetrators to the police. This is top notch crime writing, and I'll be checking out Lippman's other titles. This book is a hit with me.

posted by BANCHEE_READS on October 26, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

I hated Heather Bethany. And not just a little bit either. Even

I hated Heather Bethany. And not just a little bit either. Even though she had her reasons for her half-truths and lies, reasons that become apparent later, I still found it hard to forgive her. Since much of WHAT THE DEAD KNOW revolves around her, this proved a slightl...
I hated Heather Bethany. And not just a little bit either. Even though she had her reasons for her half-truths and lies, reasons that become apparent later, I still found it hard to forgive her. Since much of WHAT THE DEAD KNOW revolves around her, this proved a slightly difficult obstacle for me to overcome. Yet, Laura Lippman proved up to the challenge with an engrossing story that spanned decades and bounced back and forth in time like a shooting star set on repeat.

Despite the back and forth, I found it relatively easy to follow. But I still felt like there was something missing. It was a good story with an interesting premise, yet I never became fully invested in the story itself. And for that I blame the main character. She could have used a heart transplant and a lie detector test.

Nevertheless, all was not lost. Sympathetic characters existed in this tale; they just needed a backstage pass. Had Kay and Nancy stepped up to the microphone a bit more often, usurping their relatively minor positions, this novel would have been a more enjoyable read.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

posted by RobertDowns on February 28, 2013

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not thrilled

    I could not find much likeable with ANY of the characters in this book. Therefore, though I finished it I could not have cared much less. I thought it was depressing with a bit of a snap ending. I didn't feel much flow, and as I said, it was hard to give a darn about the characters. Kind of a let down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    don't start here

    I think Lippman is one of the most accomplished astonishingly interesting writers of almost any kind. I don't know what happened with this one, but my basic reaction was that it's just an unpleasant book. Dark, boring, too drawn out, almost silly, and a big who cares at the end. I enjoyed the Infante character here but the rest of them were really off. I have read every one of other books before this and they are all superb. So don't start here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Editor needed!

    I did finish this book but it was difficult to do so. The story dragged on and on. Also, I found some grammer to be distracting and frustrating (ie, I am a police or I chose to be a police).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The ending was somewhat interesting, but it should not have take

    The ending was somewhat interesting, but it should not have taken almost 400 pages to get there. I wound up skipping a lot of pages which seemed unnecessary. Not recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Dragged

    A mystery about 2 young girls, 11 and 15 who go missing from a shopping mall 30 years earlier and when a mysterious woman shows up after a traffic accident claiming to one of the girls a police detective begins tracing the past. This mystery could have been 100 pages shorter, the character development was poor and can't recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    Boring

    Lippman skimmed by on this one. The characters were shallow, storyline made little sense and by the finish I didn't care how it ended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Not as good as the Tess Monaghan series...

    This book was quite a disappointment overall. I kept reading merely out of mild curiosity rather than a true inability to put the book down. The plot had promise, but the characters were underdeveloped, unlikable, and had no chemistry with one another. The early promise of suspense fizzled out quickly, and the ending was very anti-climactic. I normally enjoy Lippman's writing, but I think she skated by on previous successes with this one and didn't spend nearly enough time developing a truly engaging group of characters or sustainable plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2007

    I don't know how, or why, I read the whole book!

    This book did not really keep my attention. It was a struggle to read the whole thing. I suppose I only finished it because I don't like not knowing the ending of any story! The ending was quite unexpected--I hope you make it that far! Glad I got it on sale!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2007

    Not her best work

    Like The Power of Three, I didn't like this book either. The plot lines were just too hard to follow. I lost interest right away. Prefer Tess Monaghan all the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    I guess I'm the only one...

    I forced myself though 100+ pages and I cannot read it anymore... I'm not sure why, but I really cannot stand looking at this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 28, 2011

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    Posted February 19, 2011

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    Posted March 13, 2011

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted April 8, 2014

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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    Posted October 4, 2011

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