While this book filled my craving for a good mystery read, it isn't going on my list favorites because the ending seemed like it was going to be a big reveal but I felt a bit let down. It was a surprise, but maybe for surprise's sake? All the same I will try more of Lippman's books in the future.
This is the best book (so far) of the Tess Monaghan series. As a native Texan and a frequent visitor to San Antonio, I was amazed by Laura Lippmans grasp of this ethnically-diverse city. The author is right; San Antonio is just a big little town.
Lippmans characterizations are pitch-perfect. Latinos make up about 50% of the population; this book reflects that demographic. The Day of the Dead is a very important celebration amongst many Hispanics in this town.
The story starts rather simply; Tess receives a newspaper clipping of Crow that says, In Big Trouble. Tess hesitates but Crows parents want to hire her to find their son. Up until this book, Crows parents have been vaguely mentioned; here, they come to the front and teach Tess a bit about themselves and Crow.
After arriving in Texas, It takes her less than 3 days to find Crow, but then the trouble begins. By the time Tess finds the second body, shes too far into the situation to walk away. Besides, she has a sense that Crows problems are far from over.
When Crow and Tess talk, he usually spurns or says negative things to Tess. From their interactions, the reader realizes that Crow was devastated by their break-up and still harbors anger. Tess spends time thinking about her feelings.
She felt she was honest when she broke up with Crow because she was interested in another (see CHARM CITY). Crow seems to be the more mature one when he tells her that just because you love someone doesnt mean you will never be attracted to another.
I liked everything about this book. The book starts simply and gets complicated rather quickly. The emotions expressed, and there are lots of those things floating around, are realistic and appropriate. By the end of the book, I felt I knew Crow and Tess very well and liked them for different reasons.