Wilde Lake

Wilde Lake

A Novel

Book - 2016
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A Best Novel nominee for the 2017 Anthony Award!

An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl. A vengeful father. A courageous attorney. A worshipful daughter. Think you know this story? Think again.

Laura Lippman, the "extravagantly gifted" (Chicago Tribune) New York Times bestselling author, delivers "one of her best novels " (Washington Post)--a modern twist on To Kill a Mockingbird. Scott Turow writes in the New York Times, "Wilde Lake is a real success."

Luisa "Lu" Brant is the newly elected state's attorney representing suburban Maryland--including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She's going to play it smart to win this case--and win big--cementing her political future.

But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime--the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man's life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn't she know?

As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn't want to know the whole truth?

Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062083456
Characteristics: 352 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Smart, driven, ambitious Luisa Brandt has been elected the first female State's Attorney in Howard County, Maryland and is looking to establish her reputation with her first murder case. As Lu investigates what should be an open and shut case of a troubled man who breaks into a woman's apartment ... Read More »

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Nov 04, 2017

A fairly good book from a very readable author, but she has done much better. The book is filled with "To Kill A Mockingbird" references, but . . . why? After finishing it, I see no purpose in it and am baffled by why she did this especially since the ending differs completely from the ending of "To Kill A Mockingbird." In this story, in the end, everybody turns out to have been a jerk. Was this the point, to write a similar story where there are no heroes, and no "mockingbird"?

May 20, 2017

I had been a Laura Lippman fan with her Tess Monaghan series but then gave up as she went on to other writing. With Wilde Lake I am back in the fold. I really enjoyed this memoir style account of the lives of circle of friends from their high school days to their present lives.

Sep 22, 2016

This is the first time reading Laura Lippman. I found it slow and it flipped from past to present. After getting more than half way through the book, I skimmed to the end. I probably won't pick up another of her books.

Sep 07, 2016

Laura Lippman's parents' combined genetic material was not all that good to her, but Luisa Brant--beautiful, smart, riding her daddy's coatails--was certainly blessed with great genes. Apparently, that gives her (and Lippman) every right to be nasty, judgemental snarky mean girls.
There was probably a good story buried in the book, but by page 70 I was so disgusted with Lu's (and Lippman's) superiority complex and woman bashing that I am now and forever done with Lippman.

Sep 01, 2016

Lippman is a New York Times bestselling author, famous for her detective novels set in Baltimore. Wilde Lake follows lawyer Lu Brant as she investigates a present day murder while also delving into her family's secretive past. The novel is slow to gain momentum and I found the alternating perspectives--told from third person in the present day, first person in the past--to be clumsy, making it even more difficult to become absorbed in the plot.

Jul 07, 2016

I picked this book up thinking it was another Tess Monaghan mystery, but this wasn’t your ordinary detective novel. This is a story with the same message as To Kill a Mockingbird. A determined woman follows in the steps of her father as a U.S. Prosecuting Attorney, only to uncover some very uncomfortable facts about her brother and father. The story moves back and forth between first person, Lu’s life at present and third person, Lu’s childhood memories. This delineation in the telling of the story helps as her memories collide with her childhood view of her older brother and father as heroes, and the uncomfortable truths she discovers about things they covered up years ago.

hholley Jun 14, 2016

Wilde Lake was slow to start, but once it got going, I wasn't able to put it down. The story alternates between present day and thirty years earlier when the protagonist, Luisa, is a child. Through these two different lenses, the characters are strongly developed as they struggle with what makes someone good or bad and if it's as black and white as they might like to think. There is a strong theme of how the idea of morality changes as you grow older as well as how the context of memories change as you mature, which was enjoyable, especially in contrast with the criminal court cases playing out in the background.

May 31, 2016

Very disappointing considering the hype of this book. I thought I would die from the boredom till after the 5th chapter.

May 27, 2016

Lu Brant digs into the past and discovers its effect on her present life. What her family felt she was able to understand when she was a child and the stories they told her, as well as the justifications they hold onto about their actions, are slowly revealed. As Lu puts the jigsaw of pieces together, the picture and the effect on the participants is horrifying. She confronts some of the participants and the effect is either devastating for them and her, they have built a wall of denial around their part in it, or they are too old and fixed in their ways to be held accountable. Sometimes we look back and decide to make a new story. Is this a good or a bad idea? Only time will tell.

ehbooklover May 24, 2016

Absolutely gripping! I really liked the way that Lippman chose to tell this story: the past was told by the protagonist, Lu, in the first person; the present was told in the third person. The author also used different fonts to highlight which was which. I also grew to care about Lu a great deal despite her obvious flaws. I couldn't put this one down.

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