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I'd Know You Anywhere
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
by Laura Lippman


Even today, 38 year old Eliza Benedict struggles to feel safe in her life as a suburban housewife.  When she was 15 years old, Eliza was kidnapped and held hostage by Walter Bowman, a man now on death row.  Out of the blue, Eliza receives a letter from Bowman.  What does he want?  More importantly, what does she want?   Does she have any responsibility to allow him the opportunity to make amends before his scheduled execution?  Part of Eliza wants to know why she was spared, the only victim that Bowman did not kill.  Another part of her wants to put the past behind her and try the best she can to live a normal life.  Bowman's statement "I'd Know You Anywhere" resonates in eerie tones in a woman who struggles to remain unnoticeable in many ways to protect herself, and yet, his words also draw her.  As the execution clock ticks down, Eliza struggles within herself to find answers while not falling prey to the dynamics which kept her his hostage so many yeas ago. 

Laura Lippman's stand alone novel I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE is an outstanding work of psychological suspense.   Laura Lippman keeps a reader on the edge from beginning to end.  Can Walter be believed?  Even more, can one trust Eliza's motives and responses?  Does Eliza know herself enough to even know her own motives?  The central questions become more complex as advocate Barbara LaFortuny enters the scene.  Who is manipulating whom?  Laura Lippman's characters are rich, the plot and emotional twists exciting, and the suspense gripping. 
I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE does an excellent job in its portrayal of victim and perpetrator while creating multi-faceted, not stereotypical, characters.  As discussed in the author note at the book's end, Laura Lippman approaches the issue of the death penalty by presenting characters on all sides rather than telling a reader what s/he should believe.  Personally, I most appreciated the author's ability to let her readers to think for themselves.  Leaving polemics aside makes the story richer as story.  I suppose if a reader has an absolute view one way or another, one might prefer a book aligned to one's own views.  Laura Lippman fans who enjoy the author's writing style and vision as much as the Tess Monaghan characters will love this book.  If, however, your chief interest is in the Tess Monaghan characters and scenarios, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE might not appeal as much.  Rather than mystery, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE is a work of psychological suspense.  The twists and turns are as more psychological within the characters than clues to be unraveled.

I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE  is one of the best books I have read this year.  From a true crime story which she has changed significantly enough to be unrecognizable, the author  creates a stunning work of fiction that looks into crime in a way a true crime story cannot.  Laura Lippman excels in characterization and suspenseful plotting, in peering inside her characters and revealing each detail at the  perfect pace to keep a reader glued to the pages.  What a magnificently surprising ending!  Outstanding!

Publisher: William Morrow (May 3, 2011)
Hardcover: August 17, 2010

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Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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