REVIEW: IN HER BONES, BY KATE MORETTI

 

 

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is, until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit…

My Thoughts: I was immediately caught up in the story of Edie and her serial killer mother Lilith. How does a daughter escape the legacy of her mother’s sins?

I enjoyed seeing how Edie (known as Beckett) tried to overcome her obsessions, while also struggling to hold down a job, maintain normal relationships, and move beyond the past. But could she ever find any kind of normalcy?

Then when a murder turns everything upside down for her, and she is the prime suspect, she must go off the grid and try to solve the case on her own. In the process, she begins to learn more about her mother and about herself.

In Her Bones is told in alternating narratives: from Edie, Detective Gil Brandt, and then from the excerpts of a book based on the crimes. The anonymous author seems like an insider, because of the details he or she knows. I liked how Edie figured out who wrote the book…and confronted the author.

Despite my fascination, the book was a bit of a slog for me…and I was glad to put the gruesome details behind me. 4 stars.

***

REVIEW: WILDE LAKE, BY LAURA LIPPMAN

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They seemed like royalty, the family of State’s Attorney Andrew Jackson Brant, when they settled in Columbia, Maryland. But like many people elevated in the minds of those around them, they had feet of clay. And many secrets from the past. Would those secrets ultimately destroy them?

When Luisa (Lu) Brant took over the office of State’s Attorney, she looked up to her father, his legacy, and how he had done the job. Her first murder case after her election would take her back to the past, some secrets, and some stories that turned out to be untrue. Would Lu find out how dark that past was, and would it be too late? Would it change how she lived her life afterwards?

Wilde Lake was a page-turning story that was more about family than legal cases. How Lu, as a widow, is raising her twins as a single mother in her childhood home, while juggling motherhood and career. The story of what happened to Lu’s mother, and which would only begin to unfold many years later, would have a deep impact on Lu…and on her brother A.J., as well as her father, because of how they kept the secret.

But the biggest secrets of all would be about a fateful night in 1979 and how the actions of some, spurred on by the perceived actions of others, would turn into an event that would inform all of their lives decades later.

Can the secrets and lies be justified? Could the flawed memories of those who participated be counted on in the present? I could not stop reading, as, like other books by this author, I was immersed in the stories and the secrets…until the very end. 5 stars.