Monday, April 18, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel
The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel by Laura Lippman

The blurb:
In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile.  Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she take small comfort in the mundane events she observes. . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day.  Then on e day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen.  Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom.  But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths. . . and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's.

Previously serialized in the New York Times and now published in book form for the first time, The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a masterful Hitchcockian thriller from one of the very best in the business: multiple award winner Laura Lippman.

The comparison of Laura Lippman's writing to Alfred Hitchcock's approach to cinema works for me.  Without being spare, her writing captures the essentials.   The Girl in the Green Raincoat flows so well that you can't help but notice how well she crafts each part.

In this paragraph Tess Monaghan reflects on her father:
As for her father, Patrick Monaghan, the world's most taciturn Irishman, Tess had once yearned for him to be everything he was not -voluble, dashing, a literary bon vivant who held forth on the work of James Joyce. If she wasn't such a snob then, she might have noticed she'd been graced with Wonder Dad, who could fix or build anything.  Instead, she had taken it all as her due--the sturdy, safe tire swing that drew the neighborhood children to her house, the gleaming bicycles on Christmas morning, which her father put together swiftly and quietly, without any profanity-laden outbursts to waken a sleeping girl from dreams of Santa.  He had, in fact, contributed much of the work to this sun porch where she now spent her days.  Now Tess was thrilled to have a father who could wield a hammer.  She didn't need to talk about Joyce.  The fact was, she really didn't have a lot to say about Joyce, and there were always things that required fixing.
The Girl in the Green Raincoat is brief.  At 158 pages it's more a novella than a novel and had first been serialized for the New York Times.   But it's an engrossing, satisfying read that captures your attention throughout.  If you're looking for an unusual suspense novel, I highly recommend it.

ISBN-10: 006193836X - Paperback
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (January 18, 2011), 176 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Laura Lippman has been awarded every major prize in crime fiction.  The recipient of the first Mayor's Prize, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband David Simon and their family.

1 comment:

  1. Dreaming of a copy of this book now. The review is good, how much more the whole story. I will note this down on my wishlist.