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Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan Series #12)
     

Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan Series #12)

4.0 13
by Laura Lippman
 

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New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman plunges Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan into a twisted and disturbing case.

Tess Monaghan has encountered almost every possible criminal motive throughout her career: greed, revenge, jealousy, rage. But there are crimes that defy all attempts at understanding, where a search for motive

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman plunges Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan into a twisted and disturbing case.

Tess Monaghan has encountered almost every possible criminal motive throughout her career: greed, revenge, jealousy, rage. But there are crimes that defy all attempts at understanding, where a search for motive seems pointless.

Melisandre Harris Dawes committed such a crime. Found not guilty by reason of insanity, she fled the country, leaving her two daughters with their father. Twelve years later, she’s back in Baltimore, and Tess is asked to provide security detail while Melisandre films a documentary about her attempts to reconcile with her now teenaged children.

Tess, juggling work with caring for her demanding toddler, is uneasy about the case. Still, Melisandre’s lawyer is family. And there is something about the woman herself—confident, beautiful, shrewdly intelligent—that draws Tess in. Is she a master manipulator or someone who was driven to temporary madness? Cold and calculating, or a mother concerned for her daughters’ well being? Someone is leaving Melisandre enigmatic, threatening notes. Soon Tess, insecure about her parenting abilities and receiving cryptic messages of her own, isn’t sure whether she should be protecting Melisandre from harm—or protecting everyone else from Melisandre.

When Melisandre becomes the prime suspect in a murder, Tess must uncover the truth. Doing so will mean confronting her deepest beliefs about what separates good parents from bad, madness from sanity, and what lengths even the most rational person will go to, to protect what they cherish most.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
…it's good to see Laura Lippman's scrappy Baltimore private eye, Tess Monaghan, back on the job in Hush Hush, a tough-minded but wonderfully entertaining book that might be called a parenting mystery…Lippman knows her stuff and introduces some clever plot twists and turns…But her character studies, largely drawn from the way people feel about having children, are exceptional.
Publishers Weekly
★ 12/08/2014
In bestseller Lippman’s searing 12th installment in her series featuring Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan (last seen in the 2011 novella “The Girl in the Green Raincoat”), Tess, now the mother of a three-year-old girl with longtime boyfriend Crow, reluctantly takes a security job from attorney Tyner Gray, a family friend. Tyner represents Melisandre Harris Dawes, who, 12 years earlier, intentionally left her infant daughter in a hot car to die. Melisandre, a former lawyer, successfully argued that she suffered from postpartum psychosis, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. She left Baltimore—and her two young daughters—behind, and moved abroad. Now Melisandre is back, with a documentary filmmaker in tow, to reunite with her daughters, 17-year-old Alanna and 15-year-old Ruby, who live with their father, Stephen, his new wife, and their baby. Tess, along with her new partner, ex-cop Sandy Sanchez, must assess Melisandre’s security risks. Lippman expertly delves into what it means to be mad—and more importantly, what comes next. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Chicago Tribune
“one of Lippman’s finest novels.”
Library Journal
★ 01/01/2015
In the 12th title in Lippman's best-selling series featuring Baltimore investigator Tess Monaghan (The Girl in the Green Raincoat), Tess is tasked with investigating a complex and disturbing woman. Melisandre Harris Dawes left her infant daughter unattended in a stifling hot car 12 years ago. After a lengthy murder trial that acquitted her by reason of insanity, Dawes left Maryland for a new life abroad. Now she's back, with a documentary camera in tow to film a hoped-for reunion with her two surviving children. However, not everyone is happy about Melisandre's return, including her ex-husband and teenage daughters. Tess and her partner have been hired to assess Melisandre's personal security. As a mother herself, Tess is skeptical about the woman's innocence and wary of her manipulations. But when another murder occurs and Melisandre is once again a suspect, Tess is drawn into the mystery of what happened so many years ago. VERDICT 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.—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-11-18
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. In the last Monaghan mystery, The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011), Tess solved a Rear Window-style crime when her doctor confined her to bed rest at the end of her pregnancy. Fast-forwarding three years, Lippman has brought Tess back, now the mother of toddler Carla Scout as well as a full-time PI. She has taken on a new partner, ex-homicide cop Sandy Sanchez (the protagonist of Lippman's excellent 2014 stand-alone, After I'm Gone), but even with Sandy's help Tess struggles to juggle her tantrum-prone daughter, her relationship with longtime boyfriend Crow and her work. The job in question is complex and juicy: Tess has been hired by the rich and haughty Melisandre Harris Dawes, who killed her infant daughter by leaving her in a sweltering car. Dawes was found not guilty by reason of insanity (specifically, postpartum psychosis), but after her trial, she gave away custody of her older daughters, divorced her husband and fled the country. Now she's returned to Baltimore and wants Tess to look into her security. She's also commissioned a documentary on the insanity defense, giving Lippman plenty of room to share her observations on our passion for reality TV and obsession with the most horrifying crimes. Before long, both Dawes and Tess are receiving notes with creepy stalker overtones, and the case takes a nasty, violent turn. Tess' constant worry about whether she's a good mother dovetails ironically with Dawes' fight to win her daughters back. Lippman dives deep not only into the ways women tend to question their choices and abilities, but also into whether all mothers, and kids, are a little crazy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062083432
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/22/2015
Series:
Tess Monaghan Series , #12
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
610,968
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for thoughtful, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Brief Biography

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

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Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan Series #12) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book i would recommend this book as a good story book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Haven't read any in this serues. But loved it and couldn't put down. Will review the rest of the tess Monahan books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Laura Lippman has not written a Tess Monaghan book in a while, and I had almost forgotten the various relationships. Ms. Lippman brings into this story a mother hurting or killing her child, and the ramifications of that act on the family. In this book, Tess is now a mother a 3 year old Carla Scout, and still not married to Carla Scout's father, Crow. The story begins with a video session, and in my opinion, sets an offbeat tone for the novel. I felt confused and could not understand the dynamic. The characters have many layers, and personalities change; and the reader lumbers along trying to make sense of the actions. Many of the relationships are forced and sketchy, and senseless text messages instead of a chatty and lengthy letter. Is the written word doomed?
Pippen More than 1 year ago
Nice to catch up with Tess in this book. Still too much talking angst and not enough action with multiple events happening. Got a bit distracted near the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Divia1 More than 1 year ago
This book was decent enough.  I guess I just wasn't that much into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not one of Laura Lippman's best stories. I have read most of hers and I did not like this one. It was very disappointing.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The most recent book in the Tess Monaghan series and as this series goes, Tess' personal story interacts with the investigation that is solely contained in this book - think CSI episodes.  I recently read the first book in the series and have read one or two in between, but was definitely lost a little when it came time for the story to revolve around Tess' individual story - word to the wise, pick up this series from the start and read in order.  (Doesn't need to be back to back, but definitely in order!) With that said, I did love this book.  I loved how Tess' personal story, being a new mom really impacted the way she investigated this story.  She definitely couldn't keep home and work separate.  Saying this, I loved that her personal life intertwined with her work life, made for a more realistic and true story.  After having just read the first book, I could completely see a drastic change in the Tess from the first book compared to this one, now I would love to read the evolution.
RChambers1 More than 1 year ago
Disclosure:  I received an advanced copy of the novel from the publisher with hopes I would provide an honest review. I am a new reader to Laura Lippman.  After I received this copy, I read her novel, Baltimore Blues, and had liked it, but felt it was outdated.  The character of Tess was really only mildly likable, but felt I would like to read more of the series.  When I started, Hush Hush, I was instantly intrigued by the topic (a mother coming home to her older children, after she had accidentally killed their sister years before) and was able to identify more with Tess than before. Her character had evolved a bit more and now was a parent herself. The book definitely portrayed a controversial topic, which I felt was addressed well throughout it. I particularly enjoyed reading the struggles Tess has as a parent versus the crimes of the past.  The book weaved the old with the new and definitely kept the reader guessing at what exactly happened.   The characters were mostly well developed, but I felt I had some questions at the end of the book, but do not want to leave any spoilers.  I would recommend to those who like suspenseful novels that leave you guessing until the end.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Oh, did I do a happy dance when I heard there was a new Tess Monoghan book coming from Laura Lippman! Hush Hush is newly released - and was quickly devoured by this Lippman fan. Lippman has written several stand alones in the last few years, but her iconic private investigator Tess is back in the 12th entry in this series - the first since 2008's Girl in the Green Raincoat. Lippman has given us tantalizing glimpses into Tess's life through that last book and a cameo or two in her recent standalones. I was eager to catch up with what's been going on in Tess's life - and follow along with another great mystery. She and partner Crow are the now the parents of three year old Carla Scout. The trials and tribulations of being working parents and the day to day life of a young family are detailed in the personal storyline of Hush Hush. But motherhood and parenthood are also at the heart of the crime of Hush Hush. (And fact mirrors truth in Hush Hush - Lippman is also parent to a young daughter, giving her narrative added depth and insight). Ten years ago, Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of insanity after she let her two month old daughter die in a hot car - as she sat under a shade tree nearby. Having now been pronounced 'fit', she has returned to Baltimore to reconnect with her two older daughters. But she has chosen to make a documentary of her 'return' - ostensibly to help others recognize the dangers of postpartum depression. Although her premise is noble, her intentions may not be. Tess is hired by her lawyer to provide security analysis and support for this venture. Favourite characters return (Crow and Kitty) and new ones are added - I remember wishing Sandy would make further appearances and he has - as Tess's new work partner. Carla Scout's personality and dialogue had me chuckling out loud. Tess's view of the world has changed with the arrival of her child - I very much enjoyed and appreciated Lippman's portrayal of parenthood. All sides are explored - good and bad. "What a thin line separates good parents from bad parents."The antagonist of Hush Hush is just as well drawn - but she is so unlikable that it's hard to feel sympathy for her in spite of her past. "The rage she felt at that moment- it was like nothing she had ever known. It wasn't madness, which was the term Melisandre had always preferred for her illness. Unfashionable and imprecise as it was, madness seemed right to her. There had been something vicious inside her, something apart from her, all those years ago." Hush Hush is told from more than one viewpoint - Tess, Melisandre, her daughters, the transcripts of the film maker and others-  giving the reader much more information than Tess is working with. I had my suspicions nearing the end, but Lippman kept me guessing most of the way. Lippman is a Baltimore native - her descriptions of time and place are so very real. Hush Hush is another fantastic novel from Laura Lippman - again reminding me why she is one of my favourite crime novelists.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
THis had a good storyline but was a little confusing at times.  I loved learning more about Tess, Crow and their daughter.  Some of the other characters were a little confusing and not real likable.  I ended up not caring what happened to them.  I still look forward to more in this series.  I really like Tess and her family.  
jesguz29 More than 1 year ago
I love a book that is filled with secrets and Hush Hush by Laura Lippman is exactly that! I received this book as an ARC and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is. The story focuses around Melisandre Harris Dawes, who was acquitted for killing her baby. When she decides to film a documentary years later about her case, someone starts sending her weird notes. She hires Tess  Monaghan to investigate. Hush Hush is the twelfth book in Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series. It also happens to be the first one I have read. Lippman’s  character Tess Monaghan is a loveable “accidental detective”. I loved Tess’s sense of humor and the way she dealt with working while  taking care of her daughter. I related to her and her problems trying to always set a good example for her daughter and wondering if she was a good mother. I was not sure what to feel for Melisandre. I went back and forth from sorrow, understanding and disdain. Those mixed feelings is exactly what Lippman was going for in this book and she achieved it. Like with every mystery book, I try to solve it before  the end. This book had me second and third guessing myself. The ending was a little surprising and left me wanting to read the whole series just to see everything I have missed from the first books. Laura Lippman has gained a fan in me. This is a good book for murder mystery lovers. My only regret is not discovering Lippman and her work sooner. I cannot wait to see what Tess will deal with next.