Lady in the Lake takes us back to 1960s Baltimore where we come face to face with the blatant unfairness of societal norms. Your race, religious beliefs, and gender, ultimately decided what doors were open to you and what doors you wouldn’t even consider trying to open. Maddie Schwarz is a typical housewife and mother, who decides to push the boundaries by leaving her husband and son and her safe, secure, and boring life behind. She hopes to discover who she is as a person, one not defined by her parents, or friends, or family, but rather by her hopes and dreams.
Two events are central to Maddie’s story, Cleo Sherwood( the Lady in the Lake), and Tessie Fine( a missing young girl from a good family).Maddie finds one body and becomes obsessed with discovering the truth behind what happened to the other.Fate or luck or sheer determination land Maddie a job at a newspaper and she is determined to be more than an office girl. In her quest to secure her dream job, she interviews many people about Cleo. No one seems to care about a murdered black woman(except Maddie), though her investigation uncovers more than Cleo might have wanted to be known about her life.
Many different POVs are used to tell the story. If Maddie talks to a bartender, the following chapter will be told from his POV and I found it a very clever way to move the plot forward. I certainly learned more through these encounters, since what was held back from Maddie was explained in greater detail( can I say I especially enjoyed what the ghost had to say). What can I possibly say about Baltimore other than Laura Lippman’s words bring the town to life, and honestly, you could certainly classify it as another character in the story.
There was nothing about Lady in the Lake that made me furiously flip pages, but that was a huge part of its charm. I am a huge psychological mystery/thriller reader, but sometimes, you just want to slow down and inhale the details from a well-crafted tale. A great beach read and the author( who I have to say, I read all of her books with pleasure)really outdid herself. Highly recommended. July 25,2019 is the US publication date.