AN EDITOR’S PICK!
Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multipleprize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.
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.
AN EDITOR'S PICK
“This is the first book that I have read from Laura Lippman, but it won’t be the last. This crime fiction novel about a madam who runs a high end escort service may be about the idea of sex, but there is no actual sex in the book, which I found refreshing. The chapters alternate between the present and the past giving you a look into how she got into her profession, but also how her past still affects her present until the chapters come together into the present day. The main character Helen/Heloise tries to balance her family life and her growing business all while keeping her son, the prostitutes and their clients safe.The action and suspense builds very slowly in this book, but the author manages to dole out only bite sized bits of information that kept me coming back for more. I can’t wait to read more by this author. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy character driven crime stories with strong female characters. “