First Line: They throw him out when he falls off the barstool.
Something happened one summer in Baltimore that made five best friends go their separate ways throughout the rest of school and on into their adult lives. When one of them dies and the rest slowly come together for the funeral, they begin to learn that the past never stays buried. It must be dealt with or there will be unwelcome consequences.
Once again Lippman does an excellent job at building suspense (just what happened that summer???) and diving into character and motivation. Those remembered days of childhood are every bit as clearly delineated as the present day trials the characters all have as grownups.
This book is a bit of a rarity for me-- and it's all due to Laura Lippman's skill as a writer. You see, I really didn't give a rap for any of the characters. There's not one single person in that book that I liked. If this leads to you believe that I hated this book, I wouldn't be surprised. But I did like it. Lippman makes that mysterious thing that happened on that long ago summer so compelling that I couldn't stop reading. I had to find out what happened and which of the characters were responsible.
Normally this character-driven reader prefers to have at least one character to like, respect, or admire. In the case of The Most Dangerous Thing, I kept thinking to myself, "You're all one big batch of messed-up people. What did you do to get that way?" Lippman answered my question in one beautifully written page after another.
What a different read - friends who were impacted by a significant occurrence in their past, they are just finding out what really happened and how it changes the past. With three boys and two girls as best friends, you know there will be plenty of drama. Two will hook up and two will find themselves mixed up in major trouble, what can you expect when a group with girls and boys tries to maintain a friendship through the high school years.
I loved the switch between telling the story through the past and the present, but the chapters of the past didn't give enough away to spoil the truly juicy ending. I always love a story that spends some time in the past, so you feel as though you are getting the full story. Although I was a little confused by the whole us and them, so I am conveniently skipping it.
An interesting take on the suspense novel with only one death and a lot of relationships. I kept reading wanting to know what these friends had experienced and who knew the whole truth and who knew only the partial truth.
Compared to Lippman's other books this one was very disappointing! Really had to force my way thru this book.
I'm giving this a rare five stars for two reasons. First, the mystery, Lippman seamlessly weaves the mystery in one direction. It is so believable, that it was a big surprise when the actual story made sense. Secondly, I would agree with others, I did not necessarily like any of the characters, so was pleased that the story is told from multiple views, therefore the reader doesn't need to like the main character. Lippman's characterization is spot-on, I've known these people.