I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel

I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel

by Laura Lippman

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

“Laura Lippman is among the select group of novelists who have invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work.”
—George Pelecanos

“Lippman’s taut, mesmerizing, and exceptionally smart drama of predator and prey is at once unusually sensitive and utterly compelling.
Booklist

Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of What the Dead Know, Life Sentences, and the acclaimed Tess Monaghan p.i. series, delivers a stunning stand-alone novel that explores the lasting effects on lives touched by crime. With I’d Know You Anywhere, Lippman—master of mystery and psychological suspense, winner of every major literary prize given for crime fiction, including the Edgar®, Agatha, and Nero Wolfe Awards—tells a gripping and richly textured tale of a young woman whose life dangerously entwines once again with a man on Death Row who had kidnapped her when she was a teenager. This is superior mystery writing in the vein of Kate Atkinson.

 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062070753
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 322,414
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the "essential" crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

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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I'd Know You Anywhere 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 323 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
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
Retired_Book_Lover More than 1 year ago
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.
HEDI09 More than 1 year ago
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!
TiBookChatter More than 1 year ago
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.
AngelGirlWA More than 1 year ago
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.
mjscott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very tense but not as riveting as her others.
EBT1002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel had good moments, less creepy than it seemed at first. It was an engaging read, but by the time I got to the conversation between the rapist/murderer and his one survivor, I didn't care very much about his motives for "luring" her to the prison to talk with him. Lippman is a good storyteller, but her prose is not nuanced or complex. I liked [The Lock Artist] and [Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter], both of which I also read for my Edgar challenge, better. Here is one intriguing thing about my experience of this novel: I couldn't read it late at night. But this was not because the story was creepy or because Lippman engaged in gratuitous descriptions of rape or murder. It was only mildly so and she didn't. But the narrator's voice settled into my brain in an odd manner. I would turn out the light and feel like the narration was continuing. I wasn't replaying the words I had read. Rather, as semi-consciousness descended it felt like my loosening thoughts adopted the narrator's voice and intonation. It made it hard to fall asleep. Maybe her prose is more complex than I thought...... :-) And no animals were harmed. Whew.
jlparent on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eliza was kidnapped when she was a teen, and to escape the supposed circus and to keep her self "safe" from that younger self, she changes her name and moves on with life. Then one day out of the blue she gets a letter from her kidnapper, who sits on Death Row. It sounded interesting but this book is slow; Eliza is too placid and meek IMHO, the "surprise" request her kidnapper wants to make is obvious and I was flipping pages, skimming, trying to find a hook to make me like the book. Didn't work. Not my thing.
majorbabs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You can always count on a compelling story from Lippman and this is no different. Grabs you from the first page.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked it, but can't say I loved it. Maybe reading Gillian Flynn's Dark Places made me prejudiced because I longed for a victim with more personality (even an abrasive one like Libby's). Yes the crimes, stories and women involved are different, but I didn't expect a person to be so untouched by her experience. Eliza is so inert she's almost an inanimate object. Everyone, kidnapper included, runs roughshod over her. At first I sort of liked her and found her appealing, but as the novel went on I became more and more frustrated by her lack of vitality. Her lack of will. Her lack of anything approximating a self-determined life. That's why in the end I wasn't surprised there wasn't any big secret. Her wishy-washy denials of such were almost enough to do it alone, so when I realized that she wasn't standing up to Walter and that she just didn't have anything to admit, I was sort of calmly at peace with how it ended. If it had ended with some kind of confrontation, while satisfying to me as a woman with a backbone, it would have been very out of character. Eh, I don't know. I like Tess Monaghan as a character, but after a few stand-alones from Lippman, I'm beginning to think that's where she puts ALL the personality.
CandyH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was such a good mystery with many twists and turns. It is always good to find a mystery that can't be figured out before the end.
ellenr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura LIppman has departed from her Tess Monaghan series with this stand-alone story about a woman who was abducted while on a walk in woods near her Virginia home one day when she was fifteen. Her abductor was finishing burying another teenage girl he had just killed and took her so she wouldn't turn him in. Chapters alternate between Walter, the abductor, who is about to be put to death, and Eliza as an adult who has been contacted by Walter and a woman who is helping him. Eliza was Elizabeth but she and her family moved and put the experience behind. Eliza is married now with a thirteen year old daughter and eight year old son. Her husband knows her past but her children don't. The family has just returned to the US after 6 years in London and now live near where Eliza grew up. Flashbacks to nineteen years ago, both in the voice of Walter and Elizabeth, describe the five weeks Elizabeth was with Walter before he was captured, after the last girl was killed. All along though the reader is teased that here is possibly something that Elizabeth knows about the death of the last girl that did not come out in the trial. Walter is working on her to reveal that. This is a suspenseful read from the first page with complex characters that are carefully drawn.
creighley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twenty-two years ago, Elizabeth was kidnapped and taken for 45 long days. Returning from London, Eliza now finds that her kidnapper, who is on death row, wants to get in touch with her. Eliza has tried to put her life together and is married with two children. Her husband if aware of her past but her children are not. Eliza's dilemna is aptly told.
morningwalker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eliza's life is that of a typical upper class soccer mom with a house in the suburbs, a husband she loves, a difficult teen daughter and an eight year old son. Typical that is, until the day she receives a real hand written letter in the mail. The letter is from Walter, a serial killer on death row, and the man who just happened to kidnap her when she was fifteen. She escaped the fate of his other victims, but that doesn't mean her adult life was uneffected by her six weeks with Walter.While I liked this book for the most part, I thought Eliza's character was too submissive and flat. I also thought Eliza and her husband, Peter, were just a little to casual in their acceptance of the letter and in giving in to Walter's request that she visit him on death row. Maybe that was all necessary to the story so Eliza could remember, and confront who she was then, who she was now, and who she would be in the future. I think the author did a good job taking the reader up to that point, but I was a little disappointed, after the build up of suspense, in the reason Walter and his advocate, Barbara, were so certain Eliza's visit would gain him more time and maybe even get him off death row. I was expecting something more. I think that is the reason I can only give this 3 1/2 stars, it was a good book, but I kept expecting and wanting something more.
jennbisk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book. Very compelling and I couldn't put it down once I started it. It is a fun read, but not something I'll remember in a few months. I had trouble connecting with the characters, but found the story very interesting.
techeditor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Laura Lippman begins with Eliza living a typical housewife life. She and her husband have two kids, and she feels like she lives in her car, driving them around town. She loves her unexciting life and her children: the little boy, who is agreeable and sweet, and his older sister, not agreeable and sweet. The story continues for another 40 or so pages with descriptions of Eliza¿s interactions with her children and her remembrances of growing up with her jealous and nasty sister. But what does all this have to do with the story, you wonder. Not much. Then Eliza receives a letter. It is written by a female hand but is from her rapist.Eliza had been abducted when she was 15-years-old. Her abductor was trying to find a girlfriend. Really. He grabbed countless, but at least three, girls and killed all but one¿Eliza. He raped Eliza.Now, shortly before his scheduled execution, he wants to speak with Eliza. So he dictates a letter to a woman who is against the death penalty, who has befriended him, and she mails the letter to Eliza. Really. It¿s that easy for a rapist to contact his victim from prison, at least in this story.Eliza, rather than contacting the authorities about this, goes through the trouble of having a separate telephone line installed in her house just for the rapist¿s calls. Really. And, remember, prisoners must make their calls collect. She accepts the charges. Really. But now he says he wants to speak with her in person. So she arranges a last-minute-before-they-execute-him visit because her sister just happens to know all the right people. Really.Eliza thinks he¿s going to be honest with her. Really.The story shifts its point of view periodically from Eliza to her rapist or to the woman who has befriended the rapist or to the mother of one of the murdered girls. Always, though, we shift back to Eliza.I was so disappointed in I¿D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE! This story made me want to scream at all the characters. They all do stupid things. I list only a few here. (The least stupid is Eliza¿s sister, the one who she remembers as such an awful person.)Besides, every single page of this book has something wrong with it: if a character isn¿t doing something stupid, something implausible is happening or paragraphs are rambling on and on about something that has nothing to do with the story.This is an honest review of a book I won from the librarything.com Early Reviewer program. It was an early look at the paperback edition of the book.
celticlady53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura Lippman, is the author of numerous books, Hardly Knew Her, The Girl in the Green Raincoat, and What the Dead Know to name a few. This new novel, I'd Know You Anywhere, is a suspenseful pschological thriller, about a woman who was kidnapped when she was 15 and held captive for over 5 weeks. As the story is told, the reader becomes familiar with Eliza and how she coped after she was rescued. Now that her captor has found out where she is and wants to see her, the reader gets to know Eliza and the people in her life . According to what the author has said, this story is loosely based on real events. At times I had a difficult time reading this book, but as I read more the story started coming together for me. This was the first Laura Lippman book I have read and I felt I owed it to the author to continue. I am glad that I did stay with it because I ended up enjoying the book. Any fans of Laura Lippman will enjoy reading this book. Her next novel, The Most Dangerous Thing will be released in August 2011.
AnneWK on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eliza (or Elizabeth as she was in childhood) is kept captive as a teenager by a killer/rapist. Unlike his other victims, Eliza is freed, grows up, marries a wonderfully understanding man and has two children. She stays home to take care of them. When the killer, now on death row, reenters her life through a bizarre prison groupie, Eliza is forced to remember all the details of her captivity. Her main gaols are to shield her children from her history and to keep them safe. Then she decides she might be able to use the killer to find information on his other victims, information which might help the families of those victims. Lippman writes well, compellingly, and the novel moves right along. She delves deeply into Eliza and her abducter but other characters, particularly the husband, are vague. But that's forgivable. This is a good read.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Back in the summer of 1985, when she was still a naïve fifteen-year-old, Eliza Benedict was kidnapped by a man she stumbled upon in the woods. Little did she know at the time, that Walter Bowman had just finished disposing of his latest kidnapping victim moments before she came upon him. Walter himself was unsure how much Eliza might have seen but, taking no chances, he grabbed her while he had the chance. He would hold her for almost six weeks.Flash forward to the present where Eliza is now the happily married mother of two little girls of her own, little girls who have no idea how lucky their mother was to have escaped the hands of a serial killer when she just a few years older than them. As for Walter Bowman, he now owns the record for most years spent on Virginia¿ s Death Row, but it appears that his time is finally running out. Imagine Eliza¿s shock when, out of nowhere, she receives a ¿Dear Elizabeth¿ letter from the killer, a letter in which he describes his reaction to spotting her in a society party photo in Washingtonian magazine, ¿Of course, you are older, a woman now. You¿ve been a woman for a while, obviously. Still, I¿d know you anywhere.¿ Now what should Eliza do?I¿d Know You Anywhere is first-rate psychological drama. Much of the drama, of course, takes place in the present as Eliza decides how to deal with Walter¿s request to communicate with her before he is put to death. But Lippman, using very effective dramatic flashbacks to 1985, also details exactly what happened to young Elizabeth during the six weeks she was Walter¿s prisoner, an experience that makes her reluctant to ignore his letter even all these years later.What really happened to Eliza? She has yet to figure out why she was allowed to live when all of Walter¿s other victims were killed almost immediately after being kidnapped and raped by him. What was so different about their relationship that she was allowed to live? She is not the only one to wonder; the mother of Walter¿s last victim blames Eliza for her daughter¿s death. Eliza will never know the truth unless she sees Walter one last time ¿ but the executioner¿s clock is ticking.Fans of psychological crime fiction will be fascinated by I¿d Know You Anywhere because of the depth into which Lippman gets into the psyches of her three main characters: Walter (the death row criminal), Eliza (his only victim to survive), and Barbara (the woman who passes Walter¿s letter to Eliza). The book, in fact, compares favorably to similar ones written by some of the genre¿s masters, such as Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) and Elizabeth George.Rated at: 4.0
seongeona on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed. The outline of the story sounded like a good suspenseful thriller. While I was riveted, eagerly anticipating when the story would really take off, and read it in a few hours, in the end it was surprisingly dull. Nothing happens when all is said and done. There are no big secrets revealed, no lies uncovered, no threats to overcome, no surprising turn of events, no meaningful changes in the life of the main character, and, most disappointing of all, the story ends up pretty much where it began. I do not plan to read any other works by this author.
tracylg13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great thriller. I liked Laura Lippman writing style, i went out and bought more of her books.
LiteraryFeline on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another winner by author Laura Lippman. Suspenseful, well developed characters and her best one yet.
bookluverxoxo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a slow almost boring book.
zibilee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eliza Benedict is content in her life as a housewife. Mother to the teenage Iso and the younger Albie, Eliza and her family have just made the move back to the States, having spent quite a few years in England. When an unexpected note from someone in her past is delivered in her daily mail, Eliza's carefully ordered world begins to crumble around her. You see, back when Eliza (then Elizabeth) was only fourteen, she was kidnapped and held captive by a serial killer named Walter Bowman. The only one of Bowman's victims to remain alive, Elizabeth eventually escapes Walter and has gone on to lead a quite normal life. But now Walter wants Elizabeth to visit him in the prison where he is awaiting execution, promising her that if she does, he will reveal all the details that have remained hidden about the other girls he has killed. Eliza wants to visit Walter for her own reasons but doesn't realize that he has a plan to free himself, using Eliza's complicity to do it. As Eliza wends her way through increasing difficulties with her teenage daughter and her moral uncertainty about visiting Walter, other people tied to both Walter and her past begin to find their way into Eliza'a quiet life, freshening the old wounds that Eliza thought she had buried forever. Both intricately plotted and suspenseful, I'd Know You Anywhere is a haunting read that leaves its readers questioning until the last page is turned.Though I am not usually a big fan of mystery/thrillers, a few moths ago I had the pleasure of reading my first book by Laura Lippman, called Life Sentences. I discovered that Lippman was not only adept making the book a thrill ride but also peppering it with the kinds of literary asides I really enjoy. Since reading that book, I have been wanting to sample some of her other offerings, and when TLC Book Tours approached me about reviewing this book, I snapped it up. I was greatly pleased by the story I found within its pages and am now thinking that I am going to have to go back and read Lippman's backlist.Reading about the life of Eliza Benedict was very interesting. Though it takes a little while for her backstory to fully develop, I could see from the beginning that Eliza has gotten along by flying under the radar. Quiet and unassuming, Eliza makes it a point to always be polite in any situation. As I read on, I discovered that these were precisely the traits that kept her alive during her forty days with Walter. Eliza wants nothing more than to sink into her shy life with her husband and her children and is very pleased that her escapade with Walter has been forgotten by the world at large. Lippman takes pains to portray Eliza as plain and uncomplicated, which is thought-provoking, considering her past and the things that are threatening to bubble up in her future. She deals with the life of a snotty teenage daughter and an egotistical sister but it is Eliza's unremarkableness that truly sets this story on edge. Because Eliza refuses to engage in the drama of everyday life, and the drama of her past, she becomes the blank slate that the story can begin to sprawl upon.This story is told through an inventive display of flashback, alternating points of view and sections focused on the present. Some of the chapters are told from the viewpoint of Walter, who is not only conniving and crafty but very misguided. At first, one could almost sympathize with him because he feels that he is special and deserving of the type of attention that he never gets. But soon, Walter begins to act like a predator, forcing young women to submit to him and later killing them. He has ways of justifying these behaviors to himself, and later to Eliza, but it was clear to me that Walter was a very sick individual who was trying to achieve something impossible through the murders of the young women. It's fascinating to me that Lippman chose to portray Walter from several different angles. He was a killer, yes, but there were times that he had a human side and ti
smallwonder56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't normally read suspense or crime fiction, but thoroughly enjoyed "I'd Know You Anywhere" by Laura Lippman. The story revolves around a fifteen year old girl who has been kidnapped and raped by a serial killer, and her 30-something self who is now faced with contact from her perpetrator from prison. It was truly a page-turner, as cliche as that is. Lippman does an excellent job of showing us the inner conflict that grips the victims of crimes of these sorts. It asks the questions, "How pliable are you?", "What do you really remember?" and "How do you know what you know?" I found it very easy to identify with Eliza, the main character and my only regret is that I wouldn't ever know how the rest of her life went.Excellent reading. The writing is tight and very well done. I'll definitely try more of her books.