Friday, October 7, 2011

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (Audio)

What the Dead Know
by Laura Lippman
narrated by Linda Emond
Harper Audio, 2007
10 hours and 30 min
source: purchased

Thirty years ago two sisters, 11 and 15 years old, disappeared without a trace from a shopping mall and are presumed dead. Now a disoriented woman involved in a hit-and-run accident claims to be one of the missing Bethany sisters. The case takes on a new intensity as the mystery deepens. What the Dead Know moves back and forth in time before arriving at a stunning conclusion.

My thoughts:
Laura Lippman's books are regularly featured on several blogs I visit. But it was Jill's reviews, along with the beginning of fall and the RIP Challenge, that finally prompted me to begin What the Dead Know. I got in my car, popped in the first few disks and before I knew it, almost four hours has elapsed! For the next several days, I could only manage to listen in 20 or 30 minute intervals and it drove me crazy. I HAD TO KNOW what happened! That night, I stayed up listening until 2AM. Thankfully it was a Friday, and the alarm didn't ring at the crack of dawn the next morning.

This was a fantastic story! I won't go into more plot detail, but the inclusion of a colorful police detective, a bookish social worker, and a high profile attorney were all big pluses for me. I don't read many mysteries and may not be as discerning or sophisticated as other readers, but the resolution of this one took me totally be surprise. I loved this book.

A note on the audio production:
Musical interludes in an audiobook always seem to annoy me and this was no exception. Linda Emond's narration, however, was wonderful. Her voice was crisp and utterly engaging, but never melodramatic. I would jump at the chance to listen to her again.

My rating:

Bottom line:
I loved this intro to Lippman's work and welcome any suggestions of what to read/listen to next.

Jen at Devourer of Books is collecting audiobook reviews every Friday for her Sound Bytes feature. Stop by and read her review, then click over to see what others have posted. Feel free to link up your own audiobook review, too.


  1. I almost picked up What the Dead Know from my library, but put it back as I couldn't carry anymore home. I think I need to go back now.

  2. This is the first Lippman book I read and I thought it was awesome! Like you, I was dying to see what happened next.

  3. I could feel your satisfaction effusing off the screen. To me reader's reviews influence me more than academic literary critique where words that are themselves difficult to understand are jumbled together. Thanks for sharing this

  4. Gosh, I've never listened to one. Makes me think it could be even more suspenseful!

  5. I remember when Presumed Innocent first came out. Everyone was reading, the library reserve list was a mile long, and I just couldn;t get into it (tried a couple of times). But when I put the audiobook in my Walkman (cassettes back then!) I eventually started walking an extra lap or two because it would just be getting good. I love that about audiobooks...I think the effect might even be magnified in them (vs. real books).

  6. I've always meant to read more Lippman books. Haven't read her series either. I did read I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE last year, in print. Now that I have a longer drive to town, I'll keep this one in mind for audio. Sounds like a good time of year for it.

  7. Whitney - Yes, definitely go back! This was a great book.

    Reviewsbylola - I should have started to read Lippman ages ago... what a story!

    Nana Fredua-Agyeman - Thank you! Reader's reviews are much more valuable when it comes to helping me choose my next book, too. I may just add a few more mysteries to my tbr pile.

    Rhapsodyinbooks - The audio really does add to the suspense... give it a try!

    Audrey - I loved Presumed Innocent... and I remember Walkmans with cassettes, too. Such a marvelous 'invention' at the time!

    Kay - I'm thinking about I'd Know You Anywhere next, but it will be tough to choose between print and audio! Not sure if I want to start a new series...

  8. Sounds interesting. I have to check if my library has this one.

  9. It seems a lot of people really like Lippmann. I'm reading I'd Know You Anywhere and I think I might have enjoyed it more on audio. Glad you liked this one!

  10. I love mysteries for audiobooks. They make them feel like they are interactive and tend to keep one's interest a lot longer. I have a few Lippman books sitting on my shelves unread. Based on this, I may need to remedy that soon.

  11. Tiina - I hope you can find this one... you won't be able to put it down!

    Darlene - I think my next Lippman will be I'd Know You Anywhere. Audio does seem to enhance mysteries for me.

    Michelle - Exactly!! I'm looking forward to listening to more of Lippman's books.

  12. I've never been that interested in Lippman's books but this sounds like a page turner. Audio books don't work for me, so old school paper is my preferred source. Thanks for the review :)

  13. Jenny Girl - I'm sure I would have loved this in print, too. Hope you get a chance to read Lippman.

  14. I've not read Lippman yet but this looks like a great pace to start!

  15. Stacybuckeye - I think this is a great place to start. Trying to decide which Lippman to read next... not sure if I want to start her series.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Be sure to check back, I always respond. Due to a recent increase in spam, all comments are moderated.


Related Posts with Thumbnails