Click here to read reviewer Angela McQuay's take on What the Dead Know.
Thirty years ago, fifteen-year-old Sunny Bethany and her eleven-year-old sister, Heather, disappear without a trace from a busy Baltimore shopping mall. There are very little clues, no witnesses, and the girls’ bodies are never found.
On a cold March night, not far from that same mall, an old sedan sideswipes an SUV and leaves the scene. The driver, a forty-something Jane Doe, is stopped by an officer after abandoning the battered vehicle. Faced with charges of hit-and-run, she makes an outlandish claim: “I’m one of the Bethany Girls.”
Claiming to be the younger of the two missing girls, she doles out information piecemeal at her whim. However, each tiny lead she supplies conveniently leads nowhere. Then the authorities find the girls’ mother, Miriam (Bethany) Toles. Will she recognize her daughter after all these years, or is this woman simply another crackpot imposter?
Based on a real-life missing children’s case remembered from her own teen years, bestselling author Laura Lippman spins a tale of emotional blackmail and reveals the devastating effects it has on all involved in What the Dead Know.
Although the story is intriguing, I felt a bit removed from the characters and had a hard time identifying emotionally with them. The story is brilliant, the ending has a twist, yet it seems to take forever to get there. Somewhere between the enticing beginning and the unexpected ending, the middle gets bogged down. Although not a dramatic page-turner, it is still an interesting and enjoyable read. If cold-case dramas are your passion, the Bethany girls will definitely give you something to contemplate.