Monday, August 29, 2011

The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman

Can a childhood secret stay buried forever? In The Most Dangerous Thing, late 1970's life in western Baltimore's Dickeyville is vividly realized through the eyes of members of three families. Gwen, Tim, Sean, Go-Go, and Mickey are the kids who explore the wilds of Leakin Park without parental supervision. There, they befriend a man they call Chicken George. One day something horrible happens that they try to put behind them as they grow to adulthood. Their parents, Tally, Clem, Doris, Tim, and Rita recount their lives as parents and involvement in the episode. In the present, Go-Go crashes his car into a wall, which intertwines the families' lives yet again. While the first third of the novel is very leisurely-paced, it soon builds up into an unforgettable story of the complicated relationships between parents and their children, between friends, and between husband and wife. I would rank this right below Lippman's standalone masterpieces, I'd Know You Anywhere and What the Dead Know.

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