Still enough summer left for a juicy read, and Laura Lippman delivers big:
AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD (William Morrow; August 14, 2012)
“AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD is a steady, surprising tale… Ms. Lippman’s nominal subject may be prostitution, but her book is not about a woman who takes care of clients. It’s about a woman who can take care of herself.” –THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 2
“Lippman, so smart, clear-sighted, and polished and yet so intense and furious, surveys the intersection of perpetual misogyny and the criminality of sex work in this psychologically astute, diabolically witty, intricately suspenseful, and stylishly righteous tale of atrocities and revenge.”
—BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW), July 1
“Lippman is a master at the summer read and this story—ripped from the headlines—is no different. A ‘normal’ suburban mother has a dark secret that could spell out her downfall: She’s a madam who supplies call girls to very successful men.”
—NEW YORK POST, July 8
“The consequences of long-buried secrets involving misogyny, motherhood, and morality play out in this excellent stand-alone set in suburban Maryland from Edgar-winner Lippman…Shifting smoothly from Heloise’s past to her present, Lippman delivers an intense character study about a strong, complex woman whose love for her son compels her to make some desperate choices.”
—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW), July 16
“Like Mary Cassatt, Lippman studies families with a different eye than her male contemporaries, showing the heartbreaking complexity of life with those you love.” – KIRKUS, July 31
“[Lippman] slowly ratchets up the tension until the final, blood-drenched showdown . . . It’s a page-turner…” —LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED REVIEW), August 15
Laura’s a very prolific writer and this book is full of thought-provoking, conversation-worthy hooks. Here are three interesting facts Laura learned during her research of prostitution for the book:
Friday is a dead night; men go into the weekend feeling very confident they can get sex without paying for it. Sunday, by contrast, is quite busy.
There is a persistent myth that if a prostitute asks a cop, straight-up, if he is a cop and he lies, the case cannot stand. This is just a myth.
Conversely, the big-time pimps and madams, a la Al Capone, are seldom busted solely for procurement. It’s often money laundering, mail fraud, tax evasion, etc. It is hard to prove that someone has sex for money unless the client is a law enforcement agent who has very strict protocols.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Heloise Lewis an American everywoman—a small businesswoman sweating out a recession, a single mom juggling play dates and homework help. Heloise runs an airtight escort service with a devilishly clever cover, a fail-safe filing-shredding system, and a firewall around her son, who believes that his father is dead, although Heloise’s tyrannical and murderous former lover and pimp is in prison instead. Lippman maps the path of abuse and betrayal that turns an honor student into a prostitute who risks her life to sneak off to the library and finally liberates herself. Vigilant Heloise feels reasonably secure until she reads the headline “Suburban Madam Dead in Apparent Suicide,” the start of harrowing disclosures that put everything she’s worked so hard to achieve in danger.
Inspired, in part, by recent headlines touting the arrest of the “New York City Millionaire Madam,” Laura’s own newfound motherhood, and pop culture’s never-ending fascination with ladies of the night (e.g. Pretty Woman and most recently Lifetime’s The Client List)—AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD smartly delves into the limits and extremes of maternal love, and the cruel, misogynistic world of the sex trade—ultimately delivering a suspenseful thought-provoking story of redemption and the tragedy of circumstance.