Laura Lippman is an award-winning author of thrillers and her well-known Tess Monaghan series, although Lippman is a “new” author for me. I thoroughly enjoyed To The Power Of Three, which is about three teenagers who have been friends since grade school: Perry, Kat, and Josie. Perri has a flair for drama and she indeed is an avid participant in theater in school, while Kat is known for her top-notch grades and kind nature, and Josie is the petite but athletic girl who befriends Perri and Kat in third grade.
Fast-forward to high school and a traumatic scene in the girls’ bathroom shortly before school begins one morning. Kat dies of a gunshot wound to the chest, Perri is in critical condition due to a gunshot wound to her head, and Josie suffers a gunshot wound to the foot. The question clearly is, what happened? And why is the bathroom door locked when the police arrive to investigate? The school is shocked that any one of the three girls are capable of violence, but the finger is cautiously pointed at Perri, who became estranged from Kat over the past year for reasons unknown to Josie, and Kat is no longer alive to shed light on their fallen friendship. The only obvious drifting between the girls is Perri’s continued melding with theater at school while Kat and Perri join the cheerleading team. Unfortunately, Perri’s life is hanging by a thread in the hospital, and it is unknown whether the truth will ever be uncovered.
Detective Sergent Harold Lenhardt and his partner, Infante, begin a thorough investigation that involves speaking to the girls’ families, willing students, and the eager-to-assist guidance counselor, Alexa. A local girl named Eve, a bit of a misfit and unpopular, may hold the answer to what happened to Kat, Perri and Josie.
Lippman wields a suspenseful tale, keeping readers guessing until the very end as to what really happened. Meanwhile, readers get to know the friendship of the three girls as the book flips back and forth in time from present day to the girls’ younger years, as well as their families. I highly recommend this book to fans of mysteries and thrillers and I definitely will read more by Lippman – soon.