08 March 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird-esque | Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman


An African-American man accused of rape by a humiliated girl. A vengeful father. A courageous attorney. A worshipful daughter. Think you know this story? Think again. 

Laura Lippman, the “extravagantly gifted” (Chicago Tribune) New York Times bestselling author, delivers “one of her best novels ” (Washington Post)—a modern twist on To Kill a Mockingbird. Scott Turow writes in the New York Times, “Wilde Lake is a real success.”

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She’s going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

But her intensive preparation for trial unexpectedly dredges up painful recollections of another crime—the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Justice was done. Or was it? Did the events of 1980 happen as she remembers them? She was only a child then. What details didn’t she know?

As she plunges deeper into the past, Lu is forced to face a troubling reality. The legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. But what happens when she realizes that, for the first time, she doesn’t want to know the whole truth?

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With a distinct To Kill a Mockingbird feel, Laura Lippman’s Wilde Lake tells a story of family and community, secrets and mystery, coming-of-age and disillusionment. Wholly interesting and surprising, with a cast of vivid and flawed characters, this book provides quite the read.

Main character Lu Brant’s recently acquired position of state attorney dredges up childhood memories, splitting the narrative of Wilde Lake between the past and the present, and details of her life, now and then, gradually begin to surface. The mystery surrounding the crime of her current case, as well as a crime monumental in her memory, leads Lu to reconsider everything she’s believed to be true. She searches and questions and remembers, the story progressing at a steady, character-driven pace, and then reaches an unexpected yet satisfying conclusion.

Laura Lippman masterfully weaves together the story of Wilde Lake. Page after page, she kept me unsure of what the conclusion could be and surprised me with each revelation of fact. So, I easily enjoyed my time with this book and recommend it to interested readers.


Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a complimentary copy of Wilde Lake and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Since Laura Lippman’s debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.


  1. I didn't realize Laura Lippmann had another book out. I'll have to check this one out as I enjoy her writing very much. This sounds like a great story - I love when the book keeps you guessing what will happen.

  2. This book really kept me guessing right up to the end - very well done!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.