And When She Was Good: A Novel
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And When She Was Good: A Novel

3.9 41
by Laura Lippman

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Already praised as “a writing powerhouse” (USA Today) and “among the select group of novelists who have invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work” (George Pelecanos), New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman is constantly sending reviewers back to their thesauruses in search of new and greater


Already praised as “a writing powerhouse” (USA Today) and “among the select group of novelists who have invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work” (George Pelecanos), New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman is constantly sending reviewers back to their thesauruses in search of new and greater accolades.

Her brilliant stand-alone novel, And When She Was Good, only reinforces the fact that she stands tall among today’s bestselling elite—including Kate Atkinson, Tana French, Jodi Picoult, and Harlan Coben (who raves, “I love her books!”) Based on her acclaimed, multi-award-nominated short story "Scratch a Woman," And When She Was Good is the powerfully gripping, intensely emotional story of a suburban madam, a convicted murderer whose sentence is about to be overturned, and the child they will both do anything to keep.

Lippman has already won virtually every prize the mystery genre has to offer—the Edgar®, Anthony, Agatha, and Nero Wolfe Awards, to name but a few. They’ll now have to invent a few new awards just to keep up with her.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD is a steady, surprising tale… Ms. Lippman’s nominal subject may be prostitution, but her book is not about a woman who takes care of clients. It’s about a woman who can take care of herself.”
The New York Times
And When She Was Good is a steady, surprising tale about how Heloise adapts when her business is put in jeopardy…There are easy, conventional ways for Ms. Lippman to escalate and end her story. But she cares less about mayhem than about ways for Heloise to adapt her talents to changing times. Call it sustainability: this book gives Heloise power, versatility and the gift of foresight, all of which serve her well in a crisis. Ms. Lippman's nominal subject may be prostitution, but her book is not about a woman who takes care of clients. It's about a woman who can take care of herself.
—Janet Maslin
Publishers Weekly
The consequences of long-buried secrets involving misogyny, motherhood, and morality play out in this excellent stand-alone set in suburban Maryland from Edgar-winner Lippman (The Most Dangerous Thing). Introduced in the novella “Scratch a Woman,” Heloise Lewis is a survivor who rose from the ashes of her past to run a profitable call-girl service, occasionally meeting special clients herself. To her neighbors, she’s a young widow and a devoted mother who never misses her son Scott’s ball games at his middle school. To the IRS, she’s a lobbyist with several women on her payroll and a medical plan. But Heloise’s carefully constructed life is falling apart because Val Deluca, her son’s father, who also was her former pimp, may be released from prison. Val doesn’t know he’s Scott’s father or that Heloise’s betrayal put him behind bars for murder. Shifting smoothly from Heloise’s past to her present, Lippman delivers an intense character study about a strong, complex woman whose love for her son compels her to make some desperate choices. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Heloise is a suburban single mother who runs her own business, keeping the needs of her employees and her young son balanced on a knife's edge. She's also a former prostitute whose "consulting" business is actually an escort service with a client roster that includes politicians, lawyers, and other powerful men in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC. Heloise has kept her life carefully compartmentalized for years, but those lines start to waver and disappear, beginning with the apparent suicide of another local madam. The police officer who's acted as her protector leaves the department, the accountant who used to turn a blind eye starts asking uncomfortable questions, a pal from the old days tries to blackmail her, and a former employee threatens to sue over the HIV she contracted while in Heloise's employ. Worst of all, though, the most dangerous, violent man from her past may soon be released from prison and looking for revenge. VERDICT Lippman's (I'd Know You Anywhere) recent novels have skirted the line between mysteries and mainstream fiction, and this one is no different. While the author slowly ratchets up the tension until the final, blood-drenched showdown, this is really a story about a woman wresting control of her life from the men who done her wrong and then using her considerable resources to defend what she's built. It's a page-turner, but often an uncomfortable one, as enough of Heloise's backstory is included for readers to understand some of her more unsavory decisions. What may seem like a dropped plot point concerning her stepsister, Meghan, is actually a callback to a connected novella, "Scratch a Woman," which appears in the 2008 collection Hardly Knew Her, but the novel easily can be enjoyed on its own.—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Lippman (The Most Dangerous Thing, 2011, etc.), who specializes in tales of feckless parents and their luckless kids, puts a madam at the center of her latest dysfunctional family. At first, nothing could be more conventional than the Lewis family saga. Helen's father, already married with two children to his credit, knocks up her mother, Beth, a 19-year-old carhop. He moves in with Beth but hangs around his ex-wife Barbara enough to give Helen a half sister, Meghan, only six months younger. As Beth and Barbara tussle over worthless Hector, he focuses on tormenting Helen, telling her that she has "a nothing face," breaking her record albums and forcing her to get a job that interferes with her schoolwork. It's while waitressing at Il Cielo that she meets Billy, the owner's stepson, who lures her to Baltimore with promises of marriage. Instead, he turns her out, making her earn money to feed his drug habit by doing lap dances at a local strip club. That's where she meets Val Deluca, whose red hair matches his fiery temper. Val offers Helen a nice house and a better class of client, all for doing what she's already doing. He also gives her the chance to be something she'd never dreamed of: a mother. That's when Helen's tale goes off the beaten path. Before he learns about Helen's delicate condition, Val is jailed for murder, and Helen reinvents herself as Heloise Lewis, running the business at a level Val had never achieved. She recruits college girls with delicately worded ads for escorts and serves clients who include state legislators, all while presenting herself as a lobbyist for the Women's Full Employment Network. But when another suburban madam turns up dead, Heloise realizes that the safe, comfortable life she's crafted for herself and her beloved son, Scott, in affluent Turner's Grove is at risk. Like Mary Cassatt, Lippman studies families with a different eye than her male contemporaries, showing the heartbreaking complexity of life with those you love.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
12.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Since Laura Lippman’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Brief Biography

Baltimore, Maryland
Date of Birth:
January 31, 1959
Place of Birth:
Atlanta, Georgia
B.S., Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1981

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And When She Was Good 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book after reading a review in a magazine. (Have never read anything from this author previously) I thought it sounded "good", not necessarily "great".... and I was wrong. I could not put it down, and stayed awake just to finish it the same day. Loved the characters and the plot!
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
Bought this book based on a highly favorable NYT book review. Have not read Laura Lippman books before now. If I could give it a 3.5, that would probably be more accurate. It did hold my interest beginning to end and there were times I could not put it down. The inside world of prostitution, pimps, madams, call girl services, was all very insightful and interesting. The book held plenty of suspense and a few chills. I don't mind books that jump around in time, but in this one the jumping around was at times a bit confusing---though by reading back a little, I could figure out the time adjustment. Helen/Heloise is a good girl turned bad by the hard circumstances of her life. Men use and abuse her, but she's smart enough to start to figure out how to survive and take care of herself. But whenever she thinks she has fixed things, someone comes along to mess things up. A series of deaths of old prostitution colleagues puts everything she has gained at risk for her and her son---the one person she most wants to protect. And how does her old pimp (and unknowing father of her son) spending life in prison make all these things happen? It is his doing, right? It's a good mystery, but I liked best about this book the insights into that twisted world.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
This is the story of the life of a prostitute, but it is so much more than that. Heloise is one of those suburban "madams" that you read about in the papers from time to time. Her life as been kept "compartmentalized", as she thinks of it, and most people only see one side of her life. Either they know her as the successful madam who runs her business...well, like a business... or they know her as a lobbyist widow raising a son on her own. And ne'er the twain shall meet. The one knows nothing of the other, with very few exceptions in her life. I liked the character Heloise later in life. I wasn't always the biggest fan of her in her younger years. But part of that may be because the character wasn't as fully developed in her younger years. It was more like brief flashbacks over the years, so there were always holes left in the story. After a turbulent childhood growing up poor in a small town with an abusive father and a bowed mother who has submitted to her life, the present-day portion of the story takes place when Heloise (formerly "Helen") is 37-years-old and living in suburbia. As an adult, Heloise gives every appearance of being a woman in total control of her life. I say "appearance", because even she must admit later that none of us truly have control. There are just too many things outside of our control. Heloise is trying to do things as "right" as she can, given that she works in an industry deemed "wrong". This isn't just the story of a prostitute-- it is the story of a mother's love, and what a mother will do to protect her child. Growing with a mother who put her abusive husband (well, sort of husband) before her daughter, Heloise now puts her son a priority before everything else. Everything she does is for him. While Heloise circumvents oncoming middle-age and a son entering his teens, she reassesses her life and decides it is time to restructure and reinvent. But as she is breaking free from the ties that bind, danger and ghosts linger in the shadows. My final word: I enjoyed this book. It is my first Laura Lippman, and probably won't be my last. Engaging and just suspenseful enough to wonder where she's gonna go with a thread of the storyline, and containing so many elements of a story that I've had in my head for 20 years now, I found the story ultimately interesting, and Heloise a character that I could root for.
Senna119 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. THis is my first Lippman book to read and I really got into it.
Cadia More than 1 year ago
This is a a good fun book with lots to twist and really don't see what is coming until the end... Cadia
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 I'm a long time fan of author Laura Lippman and her Tess Monaghan series. But Lippman has written a number of stand alone novels that I've really enjoyed as well. Every book is an adventure as you're never quite sure what to expect from this award winning author. When I read the opening chapters of And When She Was Good, I felt like I had already met the protagonist - Heloise. On further investigation I found I had. Lippman contributed a story to an anthology called Death Do Us Part in 2006 that featured Heloise - a high end prostitute. Heloise is now a madam - running her own service. She's a single mom to twelve year old Scott. To everyone in her suburban neighbourhood, she's a widow who works as a lobbyist for wage parity. But in her basement office, she runs a successful and elite escort service. And she's very, very careful to keep the parts of her life separated. But the past has a way of catching up..... Lippman has written a book that has mystery, crime and suspense elements to it. And they're good, but not edge of your seat stuff. (Who the bad guy is is fairly obvious) The basic premise of the book has been done before, but Lippman's exploration of prostitution does generate lots of food for thought. Instead, it was Heloise's story that was the big draw. We follow her life from a teen in a dysfunctional family, to a young woman falling in with the wrong man, to working for a really wrong man and to the birth of her son. And the desire to protect him at all costs. Heloise intrigued me - her instinct to survive, her strength and her drive were admirable. I applauded her 'do what you have to do attitude', but unfortunately, I just found I never really liked her. But I did enjoy her story, although I found the ending a little too neatly tied up. I'm still a big fan of Lippman, but this latest offering was not the best of the bunch for this reader.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
Crime fiction is not a genre I frequently read, but I am a fan of the TV shows Weeds and Breaking Bad, so Laura Lippman's novel And When She Was Good, about a suburban single mom who runs an escort business, intrigued me. (I also live a block away from the place where a woman in NYC was accused of running an escort business.) We meet teenage Helen, verbally abused by her unemployed father, a man separated from his wife and children, and living with Helen and her mother. He becomes more and more erratic and Helen becomes involved with the son of the owner of the restaurant where she works to make money for college. The boyfriend is a troubled guy, a drug user, and convinces Helen to run away with him. Helen ends up working at a strip club and eventually worse. She trades in the bad boyfriend for Val, who is even worse, a seriously tough guy with a bad temper and a gun. When Val kills a man and Helen becomes pregnant, she plots her escape. Flash forward and Helen is now Heloise, living in the suburbs and raising her twelve-year-old son. She is also running an internet escort ring, along with the help of her au pair/assistant Audrey. The only other person she can count on is Tom, a cop who knows what she does and protects her because she once helped him. Heloise keeps a low profile: "She always stands apart on the soccer field, her conversations with the other mothers polite yet fleeting. She's not sure whose fault that is. She stopped trying to figure out if she's standoffish because other mothers snub her or if she's snubbed because the other mothers sense she's standoffish. For the most part, she tells herself that's she's happy for their neglect... True, she encourages incuriosity in most people. Yet it's still hurtful to see how easily people fall into line with one's desire to be ignored." When another suburban madam's murder is made to look like suicide, and Heloise discovers that the man she put behind bars may be getting out of prison and one of her former employees tries to blackmail her, things begin to fall apart. And When She Was Good is a page-turner of a novel, with twists and turns, and you will read it in one sitting. Helen is a tough, smart, resourceful lady, but like Walter White from Breaking Bad and Nancy Botwin from Weeds, Helen sees a secret life of crime as her only solution to the problem of making enough money to support her family, but also like them, she discovers that her decision is bound to catch up with her. The writing is crisp, the characters (even the minor ones) interesting, and the tension ratchets up with each turn of the page. I chewed off more than a few fingernails by the end. (I know, a bad habit) Lippman writes a crackling good novel, and I will be looking for more of her books when I'm in the mood for crime fiction.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
The opening sentence of Laura Lippman’s new standalone is nothing if not eye-catching: “Suburban Madam Dead in Apparent Suicide.” The newspaper headline read by Heloise [nee Helen] Lewis is especially attention-getting in that Heloise herself is in the same profession. The dead woman had been arrested eight months earlier and was a month out from trial. The events that led Heloise to this place in her life are recounted in deftly placed flashbacks going back 20 years, basically telling of a father who was abusive, physically and mentally, and a mother who valued the man more than she did her own daughter. Perhaps the mental abuse inflicted upon her which resonated most, and longest, was her father’s comment that she had a “nothing face . . . not ugly, but not really pretty either. Unmemorable,” something that she found ultimately worked to her advantage and allowed her to “fade into the background.” Forced to quit school and start working to contribute to the household finances, Helen [her given name] finds herself in one abusive relationship after another, at some point becoming a “paid companion” [just one of the many euphemisms for sex worker], although she is now a registered lobbyist, she runs a high-class escort service, with many important men in the Baltimore/DC area among her regular clientele. The most important thing to come out of her last liaison, with the pimp who initially set her up in her own business (now serving a life sentence for murder) is a son, eleven years old as the story opens, whose father knows nothing of his existence, despite the fact that Heloise visits him in jail bi-monthly. What he also does not know is that she was responsible for putting him behind bars. The story unwinds at a gentle pace, with each chapter in Heloise’s life laid out in orderly fashion, all the pieces in place. That is, up until an ending which the author has meticulously fashioned, one which took me completely by surprise and had me racing through to the stunning denouement. As good as any of the excellent Tess Monaghan series books and standalones which preceded it, this newest book by Ms. Lippman is highly recommended.
kherbrand More than 1 year ago
Well, the first word I thought of when I finished this book was 'smart'. Well written, great unique storyline, characters that, while not having the same experiences, can still relate to in how she presents the story. I loved Heloise. She was a survivor - She started out with a father who ignored who, to a father who beat her, and a mother who was just glad that someone else was taking some of the beatings - so she got out at the first chance she got, even though she wasn't out of high school yet. Unfortunately the man, Billy, she left with was worse than her father and in order to get out from under him, she hooked up with someone who, while providing for her physical comforts, never let her forget that he was in charge. He, Val, punished her for even getting a library card (because he didn't know how to read). You guessed it, for both of these men she turned tricks - the first to pay for Billy's drug use and the second to help pay for the lifestyle. Val had a house full of women that worked for him, but for most of her time with him, Heloise was his favorite. She got picked up by a cop who had been watching her for trying to shoplift a home pregnancy test. This turned out to be somewhat of a blessing, as she was able to trade her freedom to provide evidence against Val. So Val is now in jail and she has his son (without his knowledge) but still feels the need to visit him in jail. He gives her the idea and the money to start an escort service, but of course has to have a cut in the profits. For 12 years she lives like this - but she is smart, pays her taxes, has fake but plausible businesses to explain her money, and keeps her business separate from her personal life. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. When the suburban madam gets killed in the next county, a former employee tries to blackmail her, and she runs into another former prostitute who also tries to blackmail her - she sees that her luck in avoiding suspicion is beginning to run out. As I said before I got sidetracked, I loved Heloise - she was street smart - as well as being well-read. She only had a GED and some online business classes to her name, but she kept informed of current affairs and learned in all situations, or I guess you could say, learned from her mistakes. She loved her son and despite her lack of good parental examples, she seemed to have gotten it right. The book is told in the present, with you learning her backstory in flashbacks. It moves along quickly and I read it in pretty much 2 sittings. I was surprised by the ending as I did not figure on the outcome that it had. About 3/4 of the way through I was telling my 20 year old daughter about it and I had in my head the way it was going to end. I was wrong, but she and I both agreed on one of the characters - and on that point we were correct. I wish I could share with you what that was, but it would be a spoiler. Point is - this is a great book - and I recommend it!
Kari_on_From_the_TBR_Pile More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by Ms. Lippman that I have read. I will admit that initially, I had a hard time getting into And When she Was Good. But as the book progressed, I was intrigued to find out what makes a woman choose to become a madam. I liked the way the story alternated between the past and the present. The author does a great job of showing the reader how Heloise evolves into "the mother" and "the madam". Heloise keeps her life ordered and compartmentalized. Few people know what she really does for a living. She manages to keep it all from her son and has been raising him in a nice, homey environment. The problem is that her normal life and her hidden life are slowly crashing together. I think this book will be met with mixed feelings. The book is well written and the characters were very well fleshed out. I'm just not too sure many of them are likable. For me, that includes the main character. I could see how she made her early mistakes. Many abused, naive girls fall into situations that they can't find a way out of and I can understand that. What I didn't understand is why Heloise chose to stay in the life. She had several opportunities to make herself into something different. Many single mothers manage to go back to school and find jobs with which they can support their family. When she is making money as a madam, she chooses not to funnel it into an education for herself. I lost some respect for her because of this. The subject of prostitution is a very controversial issue. Heloise feels she is providing a service, but how many families is she helping to tear apart when the husbands come to her? I had a hard time reconciling that in my mind. Despite all of that, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it. And When She Was Good is a book that I believe will be talked about for a long while. I did like the ending and I know it is a book that will stay with me for a long time. If you are a fan of Laura Lippman, give this new one a shot.
BTHM More than 1 year ago
You know when you say you're gonna read a couple of chapters and suddenly it's 2am an you can't keep your eyes open any more, and you have 3 chapters LEFT to FINISH the book? Yup, that's what happened to me! I didn't realize I would be SO hooked on this character! Heloise overcame so much, yet is still caught in a viscous cycle. How she gets 'out' and redeems herself is the core of the story. The author goes back and forth between present day and Heloise's past, giving you the clues to her character, and actions, along the way. Yet the change is welcome, not aggravating, like it can be sometimes. By getting to know Heloise, and all her flaws, we cheer for her success, no matter how it was achieved. her take on the suburbs, the good and bad, only adds to the mix, in presenting a tale that is more common than most realize. I found myself hating that the book ended. Lippman says in her endnotes that she has been working around and with the character of Heloise for years, and she finally got her own book.I think the wait was worthwhile for Lippman's fans, and more importantly, I hope she will revisit her in the future. I know i for one, would like to see Heloise succeed in her new venture, and deal with her son's awareness of her past, in another book! Kudo's to Lippman for a perfect end-of-Summer read!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
In the burbs she is a single soccer mom with a forgettable job. In Washington she is a redheaded lobbyist with a pretty mediocre record. But in fact if you can afford her hourly fee she will be the woman of your dreams. She has gone from what he father called a girl with a "nothing face" to a woman with a very secret life. She has no real friends, keeps her life highly compartmentalized, trusts very few, all while trying to shelter her son from what really pays for their upper class lifestyle. Then her accountant starts asking questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new mysterious dangers. Her employees can't be trusted. Her son's father may be getting out of jail. Oh and another suburban madam has been found dead. Nothing is what it seems and the stakes are higher than ever. With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, it is time to remake her life yet again. The disappearing is the easy part. The hard part is staying alive long enough to get to the easy part. What an amazing writer! And When She Was Good is oh so good!! The character of Helen/Heloise just jumps off the page. We see the why and the how her life made this journey. Terrible circumstances and poor choices made to escape those circumstances put her on this path. A believable path, easy to understand, leads her to this dangerous situation. I was afraid at first that this was going to be a pretty stereotypical story, abused child grows up to become a prostitute, etc. But Lippman took the story in another direction. She brought out the mother's love for her son. A son with a life so very different from her own. She had two parents in a harmful environment with a mother who put her husband's needs and her safety ahead of the needs and safety of her daughter. Heloise is doing everything for her son to protect him and give him the life she never had. She is making her decisions putting him first. Most of the people around her don't even know she has a son. She lives to keep him safe. Aside from the danger she now faces she knew there would come a time that her life would need to take a new direction. As her son matured it would be much more difficult to hide or explain the truth about how she makes a living. The present situation just moved up her timetable and she needs to make the right choices this time. The story travels back and forth through time and that kept the pages turning at a very rapid pace. It is a story of survival. A small reminder of nature versus nurture. With different parents Helen would have traveled down a very different path. There would have been no Heloise. This is one of those books that will make you want to hug your kids tight after reading it.
Bwitchd3 More than 1 year ago
This book is bold. Lippman doesn’t hold back and doesn’t shy away from the topic at hand. She shows the gritty life of a sex worker in a realistic light, displaying the negative aspects, but also illustrating the need for big governmental reform. The story itself is well written with memorable characters. You will find yourself drawn into Heloise’s life, especially when she talks about her past life as Helen, a young woman who is finally realizing the power she has over men. Lippman teases out the suspense and mystery without letting the story droop or waver. This is definitely a book for anyone willing to think outside the box and get into a good mystery!
MeteorFlower More than 1 year ago
A complex character driven story! Heloise has many faces. To the outside world, she’s just a young widow with a forgettable job who never misses her son’s soccer games or school plays. In the state capitol, she’s a lobbyist for women’s issues. In private, she makes men’s dreams come true if they can afford it. The safe world she has built is falling apart. Another madam has been found dead and the police are unsure whether it’s a suicide or not as the evidence just doesn’t really seem to stack up. People are hinting to her that she needs to be careful, her employees are plotting behind her back and to top it all off, there’s a chance that her son’s father might be released from prison. He doesn’t know he has a son or that Heloise is the reason he’s serving a life sentence, but he is beginning to suspect she’s keeping secrets from him. Heloise is going to have to run, to once again remake her life with no formal education, no real family and no friends. Disappearing is easy for her if she can live long enough to accomplish it. If I were to describe And When She Was Good in one sentence, it would be: A complex character driven story. It’s Heloises’ memories, actions, emotions and reactions that fuel this book. Laura Lippman has created a character that is so complex that she could be your neighbor, your babysitter or that woman staring at you funny at the grocery store. It’s not just the main character that feels that way either. The characters have so much depth to them that it feels like she could write at least a novella on each one. These are not just characters in a book. They’re edgy, compelling and real and that makes the story the same. I found myself caught in the web of this novel just like Heloise was caught in her own web. I will definitely be reading more from Laura Lippman! Thank you to Partner’s in Crime Tours and William Morrow ( Harper Collins ) for the ARC copy. It in no way influenced my review.
Celticlady1953 More than 1 year ago
Heloise, born Helen, is a single mother and a business woman. Formerly a prostitute she now owns her own "consulting" business that caters to high profile men such as lawyers and polititians from Baltimore, Washington DC and Annapolis. She has tried to keep this part of her life secret as she lives in suburbia and is the typical mother. She pretty much keeps to herself and lives her life solely for her son. The death of a woman who was a madame with her own business is found dead, a suspected suicide, changes her life in a dangerous way. She not only has to deal with an ex employee who threatens to sue her because she claims she contracted HIV while in Heloise's employ, Heloise has a friend and protector in the police department who would warn her of any attempts to investigate her and her business, has decided to retire. The man who was her "pimp" is in prison for murder and Heloise comes to realize that this man can and will do whatever it takes to protect his interests. In describing what kind of woman Heloise is, the author tells a backstory of her life growing up in a dysfunctional family and her relationship with the man who is the father of her child.Ms.Lippman has the unique talent in setting up the story for the reader along with any backstory needed and then gives an ending that is totally unexpected. The latest psychological thriller from a gifted storyteller. A novel not to be missed. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
Heloise has had a difficult past. Emotionally abused as a child, Heloise has used some of this abuse as a way to make herself stronger and to build up her "professional" life later on. While she appears to have a regular job and manages to be a wonderful mother, Heloise is working both by day and night. She is now a Madam and somewhat in control of her own situation. Unfortunately, outside forces will decide her fate if she doesn't figure out the mystery fast. Heloise's character was nice enough, but hard to connect with in some ways. She is a good mother, caring for her child above all, but her disregard for some of the other characters casts aspersions on her own character. The reader will feel bad for her, her past makes her sympathetic. The other characters range from irredeemable to integral to the story. Val Deluca, a pimp and someone connected to Heloise via her child, is truly evil. He doesn't care for anyone except himself and disposes of those who displease him. Luckily, Val is locked in jail, though that doesn't stop Heloise from visiting him. Will Heloise ever move on and will Val's mysterious hold on her be explained? Overall, this book was a suspenseful read. Every piece of the story is of some importance, the author doesn't just throw down random information or characters. The world of prostitutes and madams is an interesting one, the reader will be able to tell the author did her research. The characters have depth, even though Heloise is hard to warm up to, the reader will still care about her. This book is recommended to adult readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book tremendously.
lizasarusrex More than 1 year ago
What is the book about? Follow Helen/Heloise from age 15 to 37, bouncing back and forth from present to present time reflecting on how she became a young worker in the sex industry during her twenties. You'll understand and see how she went from being a call girl to a madam who overlooks young call girls. You'll see how Heloise deals with her internal issues and her social problems that resulted her making less desirable choices and professions.  What did I think of the book? You normally don't read a lot of books about prostitution, call girls or any other such profession. After reading Lippman's story you can understand how one might get themselves in this situation. It's just one version of the many I am sure are out there but I really enjoyed this book. The lack of emotion in the character kind of shows how dead inside she must feel. Despite being treated poorly over and over her response is dead like. She handles everything with a grain of salt, which I guess I expected considering the working conditions and the choices she makes. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved everything about this novel! The characters were multi-dimensional, somewhat flawed, well-developed and believable. The content is thought-provoking and intelligent. The story moved quickly and kept you guessing for a while. Some parts were predictable but some were shockers. I will definitely be reading more by Ms. Lippman! ?...wjj
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author. It held my interest at the beginning. After a while I started to dislike the main character Heloise. It was difficult for me to keep rooting for her. I read to the finish but will probably skip this author in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I could not put it down! Compelling story and entertaining plot! I'm waiting for part two!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read all of Lippman's "Tess" series twice before coming to this. "Good" is a more studied exploration of the female protagonist, rather than the breezy prose of the Tess series. Lippman's signature insights into her women is still evident. I found it every bit as compelling as to how Heloise was going to resolvee her various conflicts as The Tess "Saga".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago