My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the summer of 1985, Elizabeth Lerner spent 39 days held hostage by Walter Bowman.
Years later, she’s changed her name, married and built out a life for herself as Eliza Benedict. But all of that is about to change when a letter from Walter shows up at her house. Walter was tried and convicted of the death of a victim he took while he held Eliza captive and is facing execution in a few weeks. The letter came as the result of Eliza’s photograph appearing in the society section of a local magazine that Walter read in prison.
Laura Lippman’s latest novel is another stand-alone novel. While it would be easily classify it as a mystery story, “I’d Know You Anywhere” is something richer, deeper and far more satisfying than your standard “who done it?” mystery novel. Continuing a theme from many of her standalone works, Lippman explores the impact a crime has upon the characters in the story.
Lippman carefully crafts the story, expertly weaving in the events unfolding in the current time line as well as supplying information and flashbacks on what happened during Walter and Eliza’s time together. Walter took Elizabeth captive when she stumbles across him burying his last victim (she doesn’t see anything, just a man in the woods) and the two spend 39 days on the road together before Walter kidnapped and killed his final victim.
“I’d Know You Anywhere” asks the question of whether Eliza was a victim or an unwitting accomplice to Walter’s crimes. The relationship between the two is fascinating as are the reasons that Eliza fears trying to leave Walter and what his retribution might be.
Also of interest is how the crime affects Elizabeth in the years following the events. As we meet the modern day Eliza, we see that the crime and those weeks have had an impact on her family, her friends and her relationships. Eliza’s pre-teen daughter begins showing signs of rebellion and the struggle of what to tell her children and how much of what happened is a fascinating struggle.
If you’ve heard the buzz surrounding Laura Lippman and are curious as to why so many of us look forward to her latest offering, devouring it within hours of picking it up, “I’d Know You Anywhere” is a great starting point to discover the woman who could be your next favorite writer.