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Butchers Hill and In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman














Butchers Hill takes place several months after Charm City concludes. Tess has actually rented office space and hung out her shingle. Her first couple of clients are most interesting: a convicted murderer whose served his time and is interested in becoming an anonymous benefactor to some missing children, and a successful businesswoman intent on finding the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. Against the advice of her lawyer, the local homicide detective, and sometimes her own better judgment, Tess agrees to help these clients. The intertwined mysteries unfold as Tess once again plumbs the gritty, familiar neighborhoods of Baltimore searching for the lost children. What's wonderful about this growing series is Lippman's shrewd ability to keep the drama real and close to the vest as far as her heroine is concerned. This is Tess' story as much as it is the story of the disenfranchised lower classes of Baltimore and the two worlds collide and mesh in wholly unexpected ways. For Tess and the reader. Well done, Ms. Lippman. Another riveting read.

In Big Trouble picks up not long after the unsettling events of Butchers Hill. Just when this loyal reader was on the brink of breaking down and pleading for a sign of the missing Crow, there he is! Or rather, there his picture is. Sans dreadlocks and sporting an unfamiliar bitter look, Crow's picture is cut out of a newspaper clipping and mailed to Tess via her lawyer Tyner. The headline above the picture reads, "In Big Trouble." Unsure of who sent the hint, Tess struggles with herself for a week before driving down to Virginia to see if Crow's folks have heard from him. To Tess' surprise, his parents insist on hiring her to find their son and soon she's on the road to Texas, leaving her beloved Baltimore behind. It was so fun to see Tess transplanted into unfamiliar territory, forced to be the awkward outsider instead of the cool insider we know and love. Like Baltimore in the previous books, San Antonio is a character in its own right. There are beautiful descriptions of the food, culture, weather, and landscape that made me nostalgic for the years I lived there in my early teens. My favorite Tess book so far.

Comments

  1. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Hey, In Big Trouble is my favorite Tess (and Crow) book, too!

    Trisha

    ReplyDelete
  2. Get out. I loved it and thought the ending was perfect.

    ReplyDelete

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