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I'd Know You Anywhere: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2011
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It's an excellent book, and I recommend it highly. Why?
10. Laura Lippman is a skillful writer, an artist who draws characters until you can almost hear them speak. Each of her standalone novels introduces us to people we would never know until we meet them on her pages.
9. What would it be like to be a kidnap victim? While I'd prefer to never know this on a personal level, the insights are intriguing and haunting.
8. The kids' characters, while incidental to the story, ring so true: a snippy haughty teenager who, while she could be stereotypical, is not and a younger son who could be a stereotypical cuddle-muffin but is not.
7. An interesting look/discussion of the death penalty. Is it right? Wrong? Want to change your opinion? Want to reinforce your opinion? Here are some thoughts.
6. The pacing. Lippman sucks you in. I rarely say, "I couldn't put it down." This time, well... I couldn't put it down. I ate and slept with the book until I finished. (If anyone wants to borrow it, I apologize for the food stains.)
5. The story. The victim of a kidnapper/spree killer is begged to meet with her kidnapper on death row.Read more ›
The desperation and terror experienced by the young victims in this story coupled with the psychological games and manipulative ploys employed by several of the central characters were intricately woven into this amazing narrative allowing the reader a voyeuristic look into the dark recesses of some pretty obsessive and, at times, malicious minds. Also, the exploration of relationships - in particular, the almost symbiotic relationship between captive and captor as well as the love/hate relationship exhibited by siblings are related with perceptive insight and sensitivity.
And yet, for all that, there is a certain hollowness to the story. What began as a compelling chronicle resonating with tremendous potential ultimately loses its voice and becomes a mere echo of what it could have been. The "big question" was never really answered but was presented as more of a "what do you think" challenge for the reader to ponder, as was the issue of capital punishment. I don't mind using my grey matter, but when a talented author has built up my expectations, I am greedy enough to expect them to deliver the goods.
Eliza Benedict was kidnapped and held hostage by Walter Bowman when she was fifteen years old. Once returned to her family, she and they set about recreating their old life in a new town and trying to pretend that everything is normal. Eliza grows up to build an ideal life with a husband and two kids only to have that peace shattered by a letter from Walter who now sits on death row awaiting execution.
Lippman does a wonderful job of showing how Eliza has compartmentalized her past trauma separate from her daily life. While a few things bleed through - a fear of leaving the windows open at night is one - she spends most of her time convinced that she is past what happened to her. Walter's letter and the subsequent phone calls show her just how much she has not dealt with and forces her to face the questions of how and when to tell her children about her past.
Lippman also gives us a window into the lives of the parents of another of Walter's victims; a young girl named Holly that he kills while still holding Eliza captive. Unlike Eliza, Holly's mother has not even attempted to rope off the events of the past and has largely found life unlivable since the murder of her daughter. Despite Walter's conviction for the murder, she remains convinced that Eliza could have saved Holly if she had tried. When she discovers that Eliza is in contact with Walter she is terrified that somehow Walter will escape his imminent execution.
Where the book falters is in the ending, A lot of avenues are opened in this book and few of them are truly explored in the end. Walter repeatedly hints at a dark secret that Eliza must face but the moment of truth is a non-event that falls flat and feels forced. We also never get to see any kind of ending for Holly's parents and how they deal with what eventually happens to Walter.
Eliza has contentendly settled into her role as wife and mother, and is like a tumbleweed, blown this way and that by life without leaving too much of a mark. She doesn't ever get overly upset or excited about much of anything, even when she probably should. Her husband's reaction to the re-emergence of Eliza's kidnapper read like something out of a counseling book. The guy, improbably, seems to do everything exactly right under extremely stressful conditions. In fact, no one around Eliza seems to have any visceral reaction to the situation; rather, they react almost clinically. To me, this does not reflect real life.
There are some interesting psychological explorations in this novel, but ultimately the reactions of the characters left me cold.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not like this book. It portrays the idea that someone can kidnap and rape you, and you should let them back into your life. You should let them call you. Read morePublished 1 month ago by lady W
Not the best book I've read by Lippman, but still interesting enough that I had trouble putting it down. Read morePublished 4 months ago by crmacgal
This novel focuses on a present day scenario that has its roots in the 80s. The reader shifts back and forth in time learning about the main character's past, and present. Read morePublished 5 months ago by E. Latshaw
One of Laura Lippman's best stand alone novels and I have read them all. As usual she weaves a story that makes it hard for the reader to put down.Published 7 months ago by marty somoza
This is not detective story per se like the Tess Monaghan books. It is closer in tone to to "After I'm Gone" as a character study. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Allen Gilbert
This was a very gripping novel. As I read, I wanted to know more about the characters and their connections.Published 9 months ago by Zetta Hart
Well written novel, presented in a fashion that made the storyline quite credible. The character development is excellent so that you can a rather keen sense of who the players... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ralex