William Morrow (HarperCollins) 2011
Trade paperback – 370 pgs.
Reviewed for Librarything
Eliza Benedict is an unremarkable woman. She never excelled at anything in particular, was fine with others taking the lead, and led a quiet homemaker life while her parents, sister, and husband succeeded in their particular careers. But one thing set her apart from the others.
When she was fifteen, Elizabeth was abducted by a young man who held her for six weeks before she was finally rescued. She was the only survivor of this serial killer who was now on death row for the murders of two girls with many more suspected.
Now Walter was trying to contact her before his execution and manipulate her into visiting him. Elizabeth who had long changed her name to Eliza wanted nothing but to forget about that dark time. But Walter had his own plans.
I thought this book was excellent. It goes back and forth from the present to the kidnapping. I particularly liked that Lippman made Eliza, though unassuming, with few emotional issues and in fact was quite the survivor. Her family was supportive and strong and did all the right things. That was what made the fact she could still be reached by Walter so disturbing. It really shows how real and powerful evil can be.
The characters are well drawn and realistic. The creepiest had to be Barbara LaFortuny, Walter’s prison penpal who believed his lies and became his champion for justice. She not only had no problem with stalking and manipulating Eliza into allowing Walter to contact her, but was convinced this intrusion was her duty. I wonder how many nutjobs like this are out there.
This book review deserves more justice but time is pressing around here with the baby, my job, and trying to keep everything in balance. I recommend this book heartily and will be looking for the others by Lippman.