Monday, February 23, 2015


Hush, Hush (Tess Monaghan #12) by Laura Lippman (William Morrow hardcover, 24 February 2015).

The last time we saw Tess Monaghan was in the novella The Girl in the Green Raincoat (2011), in which Tess was pregnant with her first child.

In Hush Hush, that child is three-year-old Carla Scout, energetic and as opinionated and stubborn as her mother.  Tess is learning what it means to be a working mother, attempting to balance motherhood and her PI business, trying not to feel trapped and burdened, despite the fact that she loves her daughter.

When old friend and mentor, Tyner Gray asks Tess and her partner Sandy Sanchez to assess security for one of his clients, Tess is, at first reluctant.  

That client is Melisandre Harris Dawes, notorious in Baltimore for having left her two-month old to die in the car on a hot August day, while she sat under a tree nearby.  After she was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, Melisandre went to live abroad.

Now, several years later, Melisandre has returned and wants to reconnect with her two older daughters who have been living with their father and his new wife.  Complicating this is the fact that she wants to record the reunion for a documentary film she's making.  

Since Tyner is a close friend, and the client is paying very well, Tess takes the case, but she finds it difficult to deal with the arrogant and autocratic Melisandre.  And now that Tess is a mother, working for a woman who killed her own child is ethically and emotionally challenging.

Things grow even more complicated when Tess starts finding threatening notes telling her she's a bad parent.  

Hush Hush is as gripping as Lippman's novels usually are, and the exploration of the roller-coaster emotions of parenthood is thought-provoking.  

It's not absolutely necessary to have read the previous books in the series, but it does make understanding the complex Tess much easier.  Plus, there is the sheer enjoyment of reading eleven fantastic books by the very talented Laura Lippman.

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for the e-galley.

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