- Written by: Laura Lippman
- Published by: William Morrow Paperback, 2015, originally published 2003
- Length: 410 pages
- Source: Publisher, for consideration of a review
Summary: Two little girls banished from a neighborhood birthday party find a stroller with an infant inside on an unfamiliar Baltimore street. What happens next is shocking and terrible, causing the irreparable devastation of three separate families.
Seven years later, Alice Manning and Ronnie Fuller, now eighteen, are released from “kid prison” to begin their lives over again. But the unanswered questions about the original crime continue to haunt the parents, the lawyers, the police, and all the adults in Alice’s and Ronnie’s lives. And now another child has disappeared, under freakishly similar circumstances.
My Thoughts: This book was re-released in trade paperback to coincide with the film release of Every Secret Thing. I was hearing a lot about the movie which released in theaters and via many paid streaming platforms the same day. I was intrigued and was happy to receive a review copy, but not before I had purchased the audio book via audible. So I listened to and read this book. It was a winning combination for me.
The book begins in prologue by setting the scene of the day Alice and Ronnie are sent away from a pool birthday party, and when they decide to take the baby they find on a front porch. Words Ronnie says will haunt Alice for years to come. As the first chapter starts Cynthia Barnes is introduced, the mother of the child the girls took. She’s informed that Alice is being releases from prison, for good. Cynthia is still shocked they only got seven years because they were “children” in the eyes of the law. Her obvious disgust and hatred for the girls hasn’t changed over the years. To say she is fearful and yet vengeful is putting it mildly.
As we learn more about each girl and their lives before and after their incarceration it becomes sometimes confusing to determine what did happen that summer afternoon. In time the author weaves a tale that is more chilling than imagined. The details of the area surrounding Baltimore are critical to both how the girls continue to move around town and how the investigation of this newly missing child is handled. Detective Nancy Porter was involved with the case seven years ago, and she is called on to investigate this new missing child mystery. The proximity and similarity in looks of the missing child to the previous child naturally cause the police to question Alice and Ronnie. Who is telling the truth this time?
This is a great book, either in print or audio. I was completely enthralled by the story and the way the characters were revealing bits and pieces of themselves in the book. While the reviews of the movie haven’t been great I still want to see it. If your a fan of psychological thrillers or Laura Lippman’s books this is one not to miss.