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I'd Know You Anywhere (Unabridged Audio CDs) Audio CD – 2010
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|Audio CD, 2010||
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An edgy utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers racing to the final page.
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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. There's a story to suck you right in.
4. The characters you meet along the way: the mother of the last victim, Walter's bitter ex-teacher advocate who, while she claims to not be obsessed with him, is surely obsessed in some ways, a shoddy journalist/novelist... Then there's Eliza herself, who has re-invented herself... or has she? There are many to hold your interest.
3. Sensuous descriptions. By sensuous I don't mean romanticized. I mean you will feel them.
2. There's always a clever twist. A moment you didn't anticipate.
1. The fact that Lippman has another novel up her sleeve which will surely explore some new arena that hasn't been touched on before.
I look forward to it.
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.
Going into the novel, though, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I was hoping it would jump right into the "real" plot. It started out slow and monotonous, giving us seemingly unimportant and mundane details about the now-adult victim's homelife with her two kids. They moved back to the states from London, blah, blah, blah. Then, Eliza receives the first letter from Walter, the man who kidnapped her and held her hostage for a month when she was a teenager. That's when the story started to really get interesting. I loved the "connection" between Eliza and Walter. Every chapter that had a current exchange between them, or a flashback to Walter's exploits as a young man either with or without Eliza, had me hooked. I wanted to know what he had done, and I wanted to know why. Eliza's background, I could care less about. It was Walter's past, the so-called serial killer's, that was so fascinating.
The point of view of the novel altered with every chapter. It was a bit confusing at times at the start of the chapter, until I realized whose point of view it was that I was reading. Sometimes, we're given the point of view of Walter, or Eliza, or Barbara (the mysterious woman who is acting as Walter's liaison with the outside world), or Trudy (the mother of one of Walter's last victim). Do we care about Barbara's point of view? Or Trudy's? No, not really. It's Walter's and Eliza's that really give us the "meat" of the story and kept me reading on.
When all secrets and truths come out in the end during Eliza's and Walter's final meeting face-to-face with only jail cell bars between them, I felt a little disappointed. The mystery was interesting and well-written, but I guess I wanted more. Maybe I even expected more. There was a lot leading up to this moment and when it finally happened, it felt rushed. The author didn't even give us all the details I was hoping for about Walter and his past. Lippman felt the need to go on and on about Eliza's children's antics and school situations, but didn't feel the need to give readers details about her main character? That, to me, felt like a poor decision.
I do recommend I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE and I think the author writes very well, but I do think it could have been better.
One of my favorite lines:
"No one had to be stupid. Stupid was a choice." Ahh...so true.