The Most Dangerous Thing

The Most Dangerous Thing

3.2 46
by Laura Lippman

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“One of the best novelists around, period.”
Washington Post

“Lippman has enriched literature as a whole.
Chicago Sun-Times

One of the most acclaimed novelists in America today, Laura Lippman has greatly expanded the boundaries of mystery fiction and psychological suspense with her Tess Monaghan p.i

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“One of the best novelists around, period.”
Washington Post

“Lippman has enriched literature as a whole.
Chicago Sun-Times

One of the most acclaimed novelists in America today, Laura Lippman has greatly expanded the boundaries of mystery fiction and psychological suspense with her Tess Monaghan p.i. series and her New York Times bestselling standalone novels (What the Dead Know, Life Sentences, I’d Know You Anywhere, etc.). With The Most Dangerous Thing, the multiple award winning author—recipient of the Anthony, Edgar®, Shamus, and Agatha Awards, to name but a few—once again demonstrates how storytelling is done to perfection. Set once again in the well-wrought environs of Lippman’s beloved Baltimore, it is the shadowy tale of a group of onetime friends forced to confront a dark past they’ve each tried to bury following the death of one of their number. Rich in the compassion and insight into flawed human nature that has become a Lippman trademark while telling an absolutely gripping story, The Most Dangerous Thing will not be confined by genre restrictions, reaching out instead to captive a wide, diverse audience, from Harlan Coben and Kate Atkinson fans to readers of Jodi Picoult and Kathryn Stockett.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
A mysterious childhood secret is standard fare in suspense novels, but Lippman keeps this device fresh with a complex narrative structure of shifting timelines and multiple points of view. These changes in perspective allow her to circle the secret in a way that broadens the mystery and deepens the characters…
—The New York Times Book Review
Maureen Corrigan
Lippman vividly summons up the formlessness of summer days of yore, when accidental bands of kids who had nothing much in common but their neighborhood would clump together and ask, "Whaddayawannado?"…Lippman calls The Most Dangerous Thing her "most autobiographical novel…in strict geographical terms," and her precise descriptions of Dickeyville and environs, past and present, make this one of her most poignant books.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Childhood friends, long since splintered off, uneasily reunite after the death of one of their own in Edgar-winner Lippman's superbly unsettling tale of the consequences of long-buried secrets. Gordon "Go-Go" Halloran drives his car into a wall after a night of drinking, even though he's been on the road to sobriety. On the brink of divorce, Gwen Robison returns home to care for her aging father and learns of Go-Go's death from his older brother, Sean. With the eldest Halloran brother, Tim, and a scruffy, nature-loving neighborhood girl, Mickey Wickham, the five had come together in the spring of 1977. The group broke apart after a violent encounter in the woods, an event that was never spoken of again, but permeates each of their lives. Lippman (I'd Know You Anywhere) cleanly shifts between the past, following the band of kids through their adventures in the woods of their Baltimore suburb, and the present when Go-Go's death draws them back together. Her series lead, Tess Monaghan, makes a brief appearance, but this stand-alone belongs to the children, their memories, and everything dangerous that lives in the woods. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Gwen, Mickey, Sean, Tim, and Gordon spent their childhood summers exploring the lushly wooded forest of Leakin Park. The five of them were inseparable until they encountered a run-down cabin deep in the woods and the mysterious man who lived there. From this chance encounter comes a tragedy that impacts their lives as well as those of their parents. When Gordon dies in a suspicious car crash years later, the surviving members of the quintet—now adults—reconnect and attempt to understand the events that took place more than 30 years before. Lippman's latest shifts between past and present and among the viewpoints of the five friends and their parents as it builds toward a surprising conclusion. VERDICT Edgar Award winner Lippman (I'd Know You Anywhere) returns with another stand-alone thriller that explores truth, lies, and the nature of childhood friendships. Although the story lacks some of the suspense and urgency of her most recent works, Lippman is an expert storyteller, and fans and mystery readers alike will appreciate her nuanced portrayal of life in small-town Maryland. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]—Amy Hoseth, Colorado State Univ. Lib., Fort Collins
Kirkus Reviews

Childhood playmates can't quite put their past behind them in Lippman's tale of growing up too fast but not at all.

Like the five points of the star Go-Go Halloran can't get the knack of drawing, Go-Go, his brothers Tim and Sean, Gwen and Mickey seem joined even though each points in a different direction. Tomboy Mickey hates school, loves the outdoors and is neglected by her mother, a waitress with a taste for the wrong men. Pudgy Gwen worries that she'll never be attractive, and once she is, worries even more that she'll turn into her beautiful, sad mother Tally. Tim is a bit of a lout, Sean is the perfect gentleman, but neither gets much attention because their hyperkinetic younger brother Gordon, known to everyone in Dickeyville as Go-Go, snatches up every bit of the family's limited resources. Still, the five travel in unprecedented freedom throughout nearby Leakin Park, even though grown-up Gwen would never let her daughter Annabelle spend hours on end out of the sight of any adult. They hike, catch tadpoles and discover a strange man living in a ramshackle cabin in the heart of the park. But their greatest adventure is being together until disaster tears them apart. Years later, Go-Go's funeral reunites them briefly. Mickey has reinvented herself as McKey, a fearless flight attendant. Sean lives in Florida with his quietly domineering wife Vivian. Tim lives nearby with affectionate Arlene and takes care of his widowed mother Doris. But it's Gwen, the journalist, teetering on the brink of her second divorce, who forces them to reexamine their assumptions about their shared and broken bond.

No one explores the delicate interplay between children and the adults they grow into better than Lippman (I'd Know You Anywhere, 2010, etc.).

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HarperCollins Publishers
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