- Series: Tess Monaghan Novel (Book 12)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (February 24, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062083422
- ISBN-13: 978-0062083425
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 193 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hush Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel Hardcover – February 24, 2015
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“one of Lippman’s finest novels.” (Chicago Tribune)
From the Back Cover
The award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I'm Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I'd Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother
"I'm every woman's worst nightmare. . . . Because whenever a woman kills her child every other mother—at least every one who's honest with herself—has a flash of sympathy. Not empathy. They don't want to have done it, cannot imagine doing it. But they know."
On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband, and her two surviving children, determined to start over.
But now Melisandre has returned to Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex isn't sure he approves.
Now that she's a mother herself—short on time and patience—Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre's lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore PD homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre's security needs.
Tess has always felt that her curiosity about others is her greatest strength. Yet the imperious Melisandre is someone she cannot begin to understand, much less empathize with. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to keep her distance from her mercurial yet confident client. This strategy gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.
And as her doubts about Melisandre grow, Tess realizes that she's under scrutiny as well, followed by a judgmental stalker with an ax to grind . . .
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This is NOT her best work. I finished it only because I kept thinking it must get better. It never did. Skip it!
After years of not seeing her older two daughters, Alanna and Ruby, now 17 and 15, Melisandre is seeking a reunion, facilitated by a filmed documentary that will capture the moment, along with her version of the story. Her story of the severe postpartum psychosis that led to the tragedy.
Harmony Burns, a young film maker, has set the process in motion.
Tess Monaghan has been hired by Melisandre's attorney, Tyner Gray, to be in charge of security before and during filming. But nowadays, Tess is juggling work and the rearing of her three-year-old daughter Carla Scout, whom she co-parents with her partner Crow. Her insecurities about how she is managing it all add depth to the story.
But before the reunion can take place, the girls change their minds about the meeting, and suddenly other strange events happen, such as the arrival of a series of threatening notes. Both Tess and Melisandre are on the receiving end. The notes seem innocuous at first, but gradually reveal that someone is stalking them, someone who knows way too much about them.
Suddenly everything changes, as one after another near-tragedy followed by a death lead to a whole other kind of investigation for Tess. Who is the stalker, and what is behind it all? Why are Alanna and Ruby seemingly keeping secrets from the past? Who has leaked the news of the notes to the press?
Multiple narrators tell the story, set in Baltimore, and as we see it all unfold, we learn more about the characters and their motives. Melisandre is an unlikable, entitled woman whose wealth and privilege set her apart from most people in her orbit. She hires and fires willy-nilly, and expects others to jump to her every command.
Alanna is a disturbed young woman showing the effects of life's traumas, and the secrets she keeps are dangerous ones.
Ruby is an eavesdropper who learns much of what is going on in this manner. What she does with some of her secrets brings the story to a crucial point.
Stephen Dawes, the ex-husband, has a new wife, Felicia, and a new baby, Joey. He is very controlling and secretive as well.
And almost behind the scenes in Hush Hush: A Tess Monaghan Novel, Aunt Kitty adds her own special voice.
As the story moves along at a comfortable pace, the suspense ratchets up unexpectedly, followed by a seamless, yet stunning reveal. And then comes a feel-good scenario that left me smiling. 5.0 stars.