The first note appeared on Tess Monaghan’s car on a March day that was cranky as a toddler – wet, tired, prone to squalls. But Tess did not know the note was the first of anything. There is no first until the second arrives. – from Hush, Hush –
Readers who have been hooked on the Tess Monaghan novels by best selling author Laura Lippman, will be happy that the next installation in the series will be released February 24th.
This is the first Tess Monaghan novel I have read…but I am not a stranger to Lippman’s writing. I’ve read several of her stand alone novels and enjoyed how she mixes literary fiction and the suspense-thriller genre to create memorable characters and edge of your seat thrills.
Hush Hush can be read as a stand alone novel (although I think those who have started at the beginning of the series will be at an advantage in understanding the character of Tess on a deeper level). The writing in this book is a bit of a departure from Lippman’s literary-type novels as there is more emphasis on plot vs. character.
Tess returns in this book as a new parent and she is drawn into a disturbing case of a murder and a manipulative mother. Melisandre was found insane when she murdered her infant, but now she is back and looking to reconnect with her surviving children. As the novel unfolds, there is another murder, mysterious notes, and questionable relationships. Tess, assigned to provide security for Melisandre, tries to unravel the facts behind the public face of the woman who captured headlines. But could Tess be ignoring crucial events that could put her own life at risk?
Lippman inserts interview-style chapters to reveal character motivation which is something I enjoyed about the book as it allows for more in-depth development of some of the characters.
The publisher has set up an interactive website for the book here. The site will be updated weekly with new sweepstake opportunities, character profiles, and audio excerpts from Hush Hush. It even has an interactive map of Baltimore where you can see key events from the Tess series. There is currently a giveaway opportunity on the site (scroll down the page) and there will be ten lucky winners!
Hush Hush is a pretty straight forward mystery-crime novel and will appeal to readers who enjoy mystery series, or who have become engaged in the Tess Monaghan series.
FTC Disclosure: This advance reader’s edition was sent to me by the publisher for review on my blog.