Title: The Girl in the Green Raincoat
Author: Laura Lippman
Review: Laura Lippman writes some of the most stunning contemporary crime fiction on the market right now. Her standalones address all kinds of interesting topics from runaways to survivors of a child kidnapping as an adult. But back in the beginning she wrote about her intrepid Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan and her various friends and associates. A great series of books that every crime lover should read.
In the Girl in the Green Raincoat we are able to revisit Tess at her most desperate, her most troubled. She is very pregnant and has been put on complete bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Taking up residence in the heavily windowed back room with a shelf of books, the TV remote, and a handful of DVD’s Tess begins her arduous journey to motherhood. Of course our hero becomes quickly bored and turns to people watching out her window and in a tribute to Hitchcock’s Rear Window she begins filling in the people she sees lives.
Of course she immediately notice something amiss when a striking woman’s dog is wandering the park all alone. Through calling in favors, the internet, and her friends Tess begins investigating the “crime” from her recliner, slowly piecing together the mystery of the green raincoat.
Originally written as a serial novel for the New York Times it is quite short overall, but very enjoyable. All the things you love about Tess and friends are found here. The downside was the ending as Lippman drew the conclusion way to fast to end the book. I am talking about after the mystery when we get back to the character development portion. To be fair the Times may not have wanted another section that didn’t have anything to do with the mystery proper. The huge benefit to you the reader is it is available online for free if you do not want to track down a copy. Start here with chapter one; Link
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 158 pages.
Quick Review: 3 ½ Stars
Why I Read it: I read all of Laura Lippman’s work – she is amazing.
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library
Synopsis: In the third trimester of her pregnancy, Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan is under doctor's orders to remain immobile. Bored and restless, reduced to watching the world go by outside her window, she takes small comfort in the mundane events she observes . . . like the young woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog at the same time every day. Then one day the dog is running free and its owner is nowhere to be seen. Certain that something is terribly wrong, and incapable of leaving well enough alone, Tess is determined to get to the bottom of the dog walker's abrupt disappearance, even if she must do so from her own bedroom. But her inquisitiveness is about to fling open a dangerous Pandora's box of past crimes and troubling deaths . . . and she's not only putting her own life in jeopardy but also her unborn child's.
Previously serialized in the New York Times, and now published in book form for the very first time, The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a masterful Hitchcockian thriller from one of the very best in the business: multiple award-winner Laura Lippman.
Author Biography: Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.
Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.
Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a Sun editorial writer who retired in 1995 but continues to freelance for several newspapers, and Madeline Mabry Lippman, a former Baltimore City school librarian. Her sister, Susan, is a local bookseller.