Most helpful critical review
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Sure and steady.
on July 24, 2005
Tess Monaghan doesn't like to take on the missing wife/missing husband cases. If they've left, apparently under their own steam, there must be a good reason, right? And why would you hand them over to the client, the person they were probably running away from? It doesn't occur to Mark Rubin that there was something wrong in his relationship with his young wife Natalie. He's a charming man, rich and successful to boot, but it doesn't sit easy with Tess when she takes on the case. Mark is not being entirely honest about what he knows about his wife's history. But is this out of shame, sheer ignorance, or for some more practical and sinister reason?
Young Isaac Rubin isn't sold on why he has to go on the run with his mother and the twins, his younger brother and sister. There must be a way of getting back to his father without his mother or her creepy new friend knowing. Not knowing that his father has hired a private investigator to find him, Isaac hatches his own plans about how to make contact with the parent who has always understood him most. Tess has to deal with the both the rigid faith of Mark Rubin and his blind stubbornness. For a young Russian girl to give up all of her freedom to become a Jewish wife there had to be a lot of love or a lot of hopeless submission involved. As she digs into the past of the mysterious Natalie Tess is sure her disappearance was so much more than the impulsive flight of a repressed housewife.
"By A Spider's Thread" is the eighth novel in the Tess Monaghan series. Lippman's heroine has a pragmatic and single minded approach to her work; classically gumshoe in approach as she doggedly pursues each and every lead in finding the four missing members of the Rubin family. The multi perspective is a boon to the narrative, as Lippman does a good job with the differences in adult and child viewpoints. The major plot twist is difficult to accept, but once past the revelation of this point it becomes more evident that a very human tragedy will have to occur. It lends somewhat of a dismal air to the second half of the novel even though the reader is increasingly caught up with concern in the outcome. The working relationship between Tess and her client becomes more intricate and real as time passes, and bless Monaghan for not taking that down the obvious road.
A solid crime read in a very successful series, easy to read and methodical in its approach though lacking in any real cliffhangers or breath taking suspense.