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|the most dangerous thing by Laura Lippman
Written by kathleen (elder)
(3/20/2013 9:33 a.m.)
This mystery is very well-written, and the characters were (mostly) compelling: 5 young people (aged 9 to 16) hang out together over a few Summers, exploring the woods near their homes outside of Baltimore, MD (USA). Three of the five are the Halloran brothers, and Gordan (Go-Go) Halloran is the youngest & the wild child; the other two are girls who live nearby.
The story starts in the present, when the children are grown, but flashes back to the late 1970s when they were young. We learn about the children's parents and other adults, and the mystery starts to take shape. The narrator is omniscient, but when the children's stories are described, the narration switches to first-person plural (we, us), even though it cannot be one of the 5 kids since each is mentioned by name. I thought that was an interesting technique.
I thought the ending was appropriate although it didn't quite live up to the suspense generated throughout the rest of the novel. I do recommend the most dangerous thing, especially for the build up and the style (& somewhat for the description of the setting -- quite good).
This is the first novel I have read by Lippman, and I will definitely try to read more. She has written several Tess Monaghan detective novels, and Tess makes an appearance (albeit brief) in this book as well. Maybe one of those will be my next attempt. :-)
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