Summary: When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she’s just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she’s the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.
But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she’s the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.
For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?
Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.
And then she learns that her son’s father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn’t know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn’t realize that he’s serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he’s clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.
With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She’s done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
Take a Peek: Enjoy this excerpt from the book.
My Thoughts: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman kept me interested pretty much right from the start. And I couldn’t exactly tell you why. It’s not a riveting, blood-pumping, mysterious thriller. It’s more about Helen/Heloise and how she got where she is – and what she’s going to do about it. There’s a little bit of exciting action toward the end, which at that point has to happen to keep this book in the mystery/suspense genre. (I suppose her running an escort service would keep this in the crime fiction genre.) I would daresay that this book is more a rambling narrative looking over Helen/Heloise’s life.
Despite her profession, I actually found myself liking Helen. She was dealt a pretty crappy hand by life and found a way to turn it around – if you overlook the illegal nature of her business. She’s smart, much smarter than she’s ever given credit for. But she’s also definitely not humble – she knows she’s smart. And she seems to think she’s better than others – especially those in her profession. They’re subtle judgments. Nothing overt, but it’s there. Her love for her son, though, is undeniable – and perfectly healthy. I like seeing a healthy mother-son relationship (well, despite her lying to him about his father and her mother being dead).
I did not find this to be very predictable. I kept waiting for something to happen – her to get arrested, or somehow found out. I expected that to be the big event in the book. Just waiting and waiting to see what big thing is coming was really the most suspense in this novel. The aforementioned excitement toward the end really is the only thing I’d consider a “big” event (by literary standards). Still, as I said above, And When She Was Good kept my interest from start to finish. I found myself wanting to see Helen/Heloise come out on top. I wanted to see everything work out in her favor. Was I satisfied? I can’t tell you that – it would spoil the ending!
Source: Received through Partners in Crime Tours for review. (Click the button below for more tour stops.)
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: Laura Lippman has been awarded every major prize in crime fiction. Since the publication of What the Dead Know, each of her hardcovers has hit the New York Times bestseller list. A recent recipient of the first-ever Mayor’s Prize, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and New Orleans with her husband, David Simon, their daughter, and her stepson.
I am able to offer 1 lucky reader a hardcover copy of And When She Was Good! I do not require anything in order for you to enter. Simply leave a comment to on this post. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (Central) Saturday, September 15, 2012. The winner will be chosen randomly with the help of the WordPress plugin And the Winner Is… I will send the lucky winner an e-mail notification. (It will come from proudbooknerd(at)gmail(dot)com, so make sure to add this address to your safe list or address book to ensure it doesn’t get lost in junk/bulk mail.) If I do not get a response within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to readers in the U.S.
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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