Book Reviews of What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know
What the Dead Know
Author: Laura Lippman
ISBN-13: 9780061128851
ISBN-10: 0061128856
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 376
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 155 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

50 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed What the Dead Know on + 218 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but then I was hooked. It was beautifully written with believable characters and a satisfying but unexpected conclusion to the story.

I love all of Laura Lippman's books but I think this one is her best one yet.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I read this for our book club. I didn't really get into the story until about Chapter 9, then I wanted to know what happened next. The author's writing style didn't quite capture me and at times, I forced myself to continue on. While I didn't expect the ending, I was also left a bit unsatisfied. 3 1/2 stars
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Although I did enjoy this book, I thought the story lagged in the middle. The pace the author set in the beginning didn't keep throughout the book, slowing to almost a standstill as she explores the past while neglecting the present. The ending was surprising, but felt unsatisfying, and I thought the reader was left to believe some things about the main character that seemed unreal after the actions of that character throughout the story. I did enjoy it, and liked the menagerie of characters and bold descriptions of place, but the mystery left me somewhat disappointed.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
Great mystery novel - The Bethany sisters disappeared 30 years ago. The case is a cold one until a driver flees a car crash and breathes life back into the case. Very well written and gripping, I recommend this book to all mystery lovers out there.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 211 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I think this is Laura Lippman's bes book yet. She has grown tremendously as a writer since the first Tess Monaghan novels. The characters are rich and believable, the setting is unmistakably Baltimore in the 1970s and the ending unexpected. It was well worth the price of buying it new as soon as it hit the shelves.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
i thought i had figured this out but i was shocked at the ending,which is tough to do with me.awesomely thrilling read!!!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I thought this book was excellent. Don't let the subject matter make anyone nervous that it will be too heart wrenching. Though it does have a lot of sad moments I never found them overwhelming until the last sentences of the book made me cry and so glad that I had read the book. Laura Lippman is a fantastic writer and this was such a great story. I really loved this book.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 524 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Absolutely the best book I've read all year! The ending will blow you away. This was a great mystery that really hooked you from the start.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 559 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was hooked right away! Laura Lippmann knows how to weave a story. I really liked the attention to detail. I couldnt finish it in one night, but kept thinking and dreaming about the possible endings. I thought I had it figured out, but she surprised me.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I had a hard time getting into this book. The story line jumps around alot and all of the characters didn't come together until about half way through. The character development was too wordy and I spent a lot of time just reading the first sentence of a paragraph and skipping on during the first half. The story line is interesting, just took too long to get to the interesting part. It took a nice twist at the end.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 2365 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
disappointment! third try for her books and just can't read them so full of description and takes forever to get to the story and this one has too much back and forth, back and forth just makes it too hard to stay with it.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 375 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I'm so glad to see that a few other people didn't like this book too! The storyline sounded good and what little parts of it were included in the book were good was way too wordy! Mother of God- there are pages and pages of pointless text, so much so that I couldn't even force myself to finish reading it (and I almost NEVER won't finish a book...but after skimming and skimming to try to find pages that were interesting to read or involved the mystery itself, I just couldn't go on). I've got so many other books that I'm dying to read, I just couldn't justify wasting another night on this one. I would not get another book by this author. In fact, I'm not even posting it on here. I wouldn't want anyone to waste a credit!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The first few chapters were a lot to take in due to the amount of back story, but I liked the glimpses into the background of the story and how she was able to really explore the guilt and hope, as well as the trust issues, that each character had.
The end twist was also really surprising. It is a little more than the usual murder mystery and more like a family drama.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 173 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Fantastic mystery! The author gives you just enough "clues" so your brain is constantly trying to resolve the questions presented without tipping her hand so much that the ending is a giveaway. A page-turner from start to finish - great read!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An extremely well-written book. Two sisters, 11 and 15, disappear at a mall. Thirty years later, a mystery woman claims to be one of the sisters. The book toggles back and forth between present and past times. It is a bit timely since the true story of Jaycee Dugard has been in the news. The only problem that I have with this book is that the main character, the returning sister, seems to be rather unsympathetic, in my opinion.

The story of the parents and the detective involved in the case was very strong. I was not surprised at the ending, even though it was supposed to be shocking. It was a good read though and I finished it quickly.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a great book - took turns I didn't see right away. Thouroughly enjoyable!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did not like this book. This is the first I've read by Lippman and it will be my last. The story jumped back and forth, the main character was totally unlikeable and it took forever for the story to unfold. Bleh! I'm upset at myself that I even finished this!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 1072 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
first time read of Laura Lippman - had trouble getting into the book, but ended up liking her style of writing - will definately try another book of hers - this one has a surprise ending
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was a little bit difficult to read because the writer jumps around, but overall it was an excellent book. A lot of twist and turns with a surprise ending. Definitely a book worth reading.
reviewed What the Dead Know on
Riveting story about two sisters that disappeare several years ago. Another great one from Lippman!!
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Here is my review of the audio CD version of this book narrated by Linda Emond.
Its a good story. This is another audiobook that I almost stopped listening to, but after finishing the first CD, the story became much more interesting to me. I have to say that I didn't really like the narrator very much. When she changed her voice to portray some of the characters, I found myself cringing. BUT once I got used to the narrator, I found I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
So if you start listening to the story, hang in there and get past the first CD. I think you will be intrigued by the rest of the story.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 4 more book reviews
It had me thinking all the way through
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 63 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not a big fan of fiction, and not a mystery reader, but this book really grabbed my attention and held it. Maybe other people who are really into mysteries could have seen the twist ending coming, but I sure didn't! It caught me completely by surprise, and several months later, I can still remember how I felt when I found out the who and why of the whole thing. I thought it was an amazingly creative, believeable, and engrossing story.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 5 more book reviews
I just could NOT get into this book. I could not stand the way her characters referred to cops. "I'm a police because..." "A police would never..." AHHHH, it's a cop, not a police. And it just dragged on and on.

Just not for me at all.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 81 more book reviews
I thought this book had a good story. It just wasn't really exciting and thrilling like I get with other authors.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 5 more book reviews
What the Dead Know is a fictional mystery about two sisters who end up missing and how the lives of those connected unfold over time. âWhat the Dead Knowâ is a great story with an amazing twist; unfortunately the authors writing style prevents readers from really immersing themselves in the story.

The narrative skips characters and time on a random basis with no real warning besides the start of a new chapter. Once you get the characters figured out and a good handle on the time jumping the story is a good read. It holds your interest and keeps you guessing all the way through â just like a murder mystery should.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 6 more book reviews
This is a really good book. An ending you might not see coming. Very well written,
omits the "cutesy" dialog that so many women suspense writers use.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 50 more book reviews
great mystery, though not a page turner, it will keep you reading.
reviewed What the Dead Know on
Great book about two sisters who disappear without a trace in the mid 70's. Thirty years later a woman, who had just been involved in a hit and run accident, claims to be the younger of the two missing sisters. Thus begins the twists and turns of the story that kept me guessing all the way until the end! Loved it!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 796 more book reviews
Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who or what could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? â Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been? Why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead end: a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household.

In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 203 more book reviews
Well-written, fast-paced mind mystery. You don't know until near the end who the mystery woman really is.
reviewed What the Dead Know on
Well written book with a great plot and twist ending. I recommend it highly.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 756 more book reviews
I have read almost all of her books and this one was very good.....just not her best!
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 9 more book reviews
i live in baltimore, maryland and love to read books by Laura Lippman. This book was good and i loved the 1970s theme, remembering things from the 70s in Baltimore. Wasn't that difficult to figure out the mystery but I still enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from Lippman.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 11 more book reviews
A captivating story. You don't get to know what really happened until 3/4 of the way through. It kept me wanting to read to get to that part of the story. I will definitely look for more by this author.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 33 more book reviews
Interesting story that keeps your attention. Nice twist to the ending! Story makes for a great beach read!
reviewed What the Dead Know on
One of Lippman's best!
reviewed What the Dead Know on
I thought this was a beautiful book. All the way through I had trouble even putting it down. I loved how it jumped around through time and really kept the reader guessing. And also really kept things moving. It has a really great plot line. The only thing was, I really didn't care for the ending. It's a very intricate plot with a lot of twists and so you really don't know what to expect at the end, and for me it was sort of a let-down when you finally got there. I still would recommend this book though and I do still plan on sending it to my friend. Maybe not everyone would agree with my take on the ending....? Really beautifully written though.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 120 more book reviews
Good mystery. It will keep you guessing. Some unforgettable images.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 105 more book reviews
Well written. This book unravels a mystery surrounding the disappearance of two teenage sisters by using first person narration from a half dozen characters switching between the present and various flashbacks in time. Each chapter adds a little more to the story.

Lippman explores family relationships and adolescence in a very raw, real way.

Not the mystery escapism I was looking for.

2.5 stars out of 5
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 106 more book reviews
I had not read any of Laura Lippman's books prior to this one, and I'm hooked! What a terrific mystery! Writing is descriptive, though sometimes a little confusing with switching from present to past. Mood is set, characters developed and ending a big surprise.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 75 more book reviews
This was a quick engaging read, and I did not see the end coming. I don't usually read mysteries so I wanted so badly not to like this book but I have to admit that I did enjoy it after all.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 86 more book reviews
Excellent, suspenseful mystery story that kept me puzzled throughout the book. I just couldn't figure out if the woman was who she claimed to be, and if not, why she would be hiding the truth. One of the best mysteries I've read in a loooong time.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 2 more book reviews
Pure garbage. Does not know basic information on AIDS nor does her policeman character know about the mentality of rape.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 108 more book reviews
Many readers found this book engaging. Lippman set herself up with a challenge: the main character may or may not be who she says she is, and without knowing her or trusting her, we have to empathize with her enough to like reading her story. Opinions seem to vary on whether she is successful in making us want to know more about Heather.

I didn't find the book very compelling. Heather was unlikable, and unknowable, and the parts of the story set in the present were tedious. The mystery was interesting, though, and I'm terrible at solving them so I didn't guess the ending before the big reveal at the end. But it was a pretty long haul to get there.
reviewed What the Dead Know on + 68 more book reviews
What an awesome book! Where are the girls?? Is this girl really Heather? I loved the book from the time I picked it up. I couldn't put it down. No "dead" spots, or spots that drag. A must read for mystery lovers!!
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Awesome portrail of Baltimore. The ending really gets you!
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AWESOME great twist
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Pretty good book!!!
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good book in great condition only read once