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Search tags: Laura-Lippman
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review 2019-10-09 20:35
The World Beyond Your Window
The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman

Not anything to argue about with the 11th book following Tess Monaghan. Tess pulls a Hitchcock and after spying on a young woman in a green raincoat realizes she hasn't seen her for a while and worries that something happened to her. Tess can't do much investigation in this one, and relies on Whitney, and old friends to track down the young woman and find out what happened to her. The ending was definitely a surprise and I liked the change in direction in Tess's life. 

 

Image result for rear window gif

 

"The Girl in the Green Raincoat" is a short story (176 pages to be exact) letting readers into Tess's life now that she is bed-bound and pregnant with her first child. After watching a young woman in a green raincoat for a number of days go to the local dog park via binoculars, Tess realizes that she hasn't seen her and worries something has happened. When Tess's long-time boyfriend Crow and best friend Whitney go off investigating, they find the missing dog, but not the young woman. Before long they track the dog's owner and realize that the woman is now missing. 

 

Lippman usually follows multiple people via her books, and I have to say that I liked the change up of not only letting us get into Tess's head, we got more into Whitney's in this one. We get to see her at her job, get her feelings about her life, and she actually gets to do more leg work in this one due to Tess's condition. 

We get some updates on Lloyd and I have to say that I still wish the Lloyd story-line wasn't a thing, but it's more palatable in this one.


Crow is in this, but merely there to wring his hands about Tess and her job. I liked how things were resolved in this. I don't think Tess would be Tess doing something else. And I liked how Tess starts wondering where are they going with each other long-term.


The writing was really good and the mystery aspect set up quite nicely. I loved all of the people that come to Tess when she starts digging more into the mystery of the girl in the green raincoat. 

 

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The flow was great, and I think it being a shorter story had Lippman tighten things up a lot. 

 

The setting of the book is mostly focused on Tess at her home, but also follows Whitney around a bit at her job and when she's investigating as well.


The ending was a shocker, I didn't expect that at all. Usually Lippman telegraphs things a bit too early for me, but this one was just right. 

 

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text 2019-10-09 20:18
Reading progress update: I've read 81%.
The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman

Story completes at this percentage and then goes into another book. I really enjoyed this and loved the twist ending. 

 

Image result for rear window gif

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text 2019-10-09 19:21
Reading progress update: I've read 31%.
The Girl in the Green Raincoat - Laura Lippman

I love this homage to "Rear Window" going on. Tess is bed bound (or in this case bound to a new addition to the house) after experiencing a high risk pregnancy. She and Crow are expecting a daughter. It feels like a lot has passed in this series since I thought before Tess was indifferent to kids. 


Tess has been watching a woman in a green raincoat walk her dog for a few days and then realizes that the woman has not appeared. Since Tess can't move, she pushes on Whitney and Crow to go looking for the dog. Once found it becomes apparent that something has happened to the owner. 

 

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review 2019-09-14 17:29
Lady in the Lake - Laura Lippman
Lady in the Lake - Laura Lippman

  This is an embarrassment of riches: so much so that I am immobilized in my decision-making capacity. I'll go with whatever anyone else tells me first.

 

This paeon to old school newspapers and journalists was touching, nostalgic, and also thrilling. The relentless hustle to put out a daily paper helps keep the suspense high in a story that stretches out a fair bit. The crimes, the business of reporting on crimes, and how little those two might intersect is a constant theme. Really I loved pretty much everything: Madeliine and Cleo, the many different types of mothers, civil rights and equal rights, the new hairstyles and clothes and fabrics of 1966. For all that is very much a crime story, it has a bit of everything except a Tracy Turnblad musical number. The Dickens comparison still feels somewhat apt.

 

The only other upside to having finished it (beyond the sheer pleasure of a good story well told) is that I am reluctant to start something else right away. In an effort to keep my buzz going and not bring it down on some other kind of book entirey maybe I will accomplish some of the things I was going to do in the first half of the day "as soon as I finish this chapter..."

 

Library copy

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text 2019-09-11 13:30
Whitewashing the cover, denying that Black Lives Matter
Lady in the Lake - Laura Lippman

Shame on William Morrow and their jacket designer.

 

Lippman's story opens with the words of a very pretty young working-class African-American woman and mother of two, Cleo Sherman, addressing Madeline Schwartz. She's saying that no one except her mother missed her when she disappeared, "no one cared." She's telling us that Black Lives Matter and no one was going to look for her until Schwartz, a very pretty still youngish middle-class white woman and mother of one, made the disappearance into a big deal. Cleo's a realist who's endured racism her entire life.

 

So the cover designer took that symbolic second place in which Cleo lives and made it literal: the pretty white woman in front, clear enough, and the probably pretty woman of perhaps some color, perhaps just in shadow or a muted reflection, but sufficiently disguised that no potential white reader of Lippman need be put off.

 

It's possible that no one ever explicitly said "if you put a Black face on the cover, make it hard to tell." Publishers bemoan the lack of diversity on the grounds of giving the book-buying public what it wants, to which end any broad-appeal book jackets keep lead characters of color off the cover, or hide them in shadows, or use white or passes-for-white models. Only the books specifically marketed to a Black audience are overt. It's exactly the same bullshit cycle that segregates books marketed to everyone as gender neutral or overtly masculine, while slapping pink and ball gowns on anything that isn't expected to have cross-over appeal. Legally enforced segregation may be dead, but more kids now attend racially segregated schools than before integration, now imposed by school districting.

 

White readers have to keep demanding more diverse voices and more diverse characters and more diverse covers, because publishers will only change if they are shamed into it. All the minority voices raised in protest won't sway them, sad to say. It's just so easy to carry on passively in systems of institutional oppression and ignore the problem.

 

Lippman's novel addresses racism head on. Shame on William Morrow for undercutting her. I am taking a knee, at, I acknowledge, no cost at all to myself. Black Lives Matter. Keep saying it until the US acts like it's true.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 121 out of 352 pages.

 

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