The Most Dangerous Thing

Morrow. Aug. 2011. c.384p. ISBN 9780061706516. $25.99. F
Gwen, Mickey, Sean, Tim, and Gordon spent their childhood summers exploring the lushly wooded forest of Leakin Park. The five of them were inseparable until they encountered a run-down cabin deep in the woods and the mysterious man who lived there. From this chance encounter comes a tragedy that impacts their lives as well as those of their parents. When Gordon dies in a suspicious car crash years later, the surviving members of the quintet—now adults—reconnect and attempt to understand the events that took place more than 30 years before. Lippman's latest shifts between past and present and among the viewpoints of the five friends and their parents as it builds toward a surprising conclusion.
VERDICT Edgar Award winner Lippman (I'd Know You Anywhere) returns with another stand-alone thriller that explores truth, lies, and the nature of childhood friendships. Although the story lacks some of the suspense and urgency of her most recent works, Lippman is an expert storyteller, and fans and mystery readers alike will appreciate her nuanced portrayal of life in small-town Maryland. [See Prepub Alert, 3/14/11.]

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