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Extended Audio Sample And When She Was Good, by Laura Lippman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.0020207253886 out of 53.0020207253886 out of 53.0020207253886 out of 53.0020207253886 out of 53.0020207253886 out of 5 3.00 (3,474 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Lippman Narrator: Linda Emond Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Perennial New York Times bestselling and acclaimed multiple-prizewinning author Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.

When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she’s just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she’s the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.

But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she’s the woman of your dreams—if you can afford her hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can’t be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?

Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know—and then she learns that her son’s father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn’t know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn’t realize that he’s serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he’s clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.

With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She’s done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren’t hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • And When She Was Good is a steady, surprising tale…Ms. Lippman’s nominal subject may be prostitution, but her book is not about a woman who takes care of clients. It’s about a woman who can take care of herself.”

    New York Times

  • “Gripping, intricate, and deeply felt, Laura Lippman is as good as ever in this thriller…Linda Emond gives a reading that is at once reserved (as Heloise feels she is in her life now) and evocative of the nuances of Heloise’s story. Heloise’s cool demeanor, under siege as crisis follows crisis, is conveyed by reader Linda Emond with skill and clarity; and the underlying emotions are expressed subtly and skillfully. And When She was Good is gripping to the end; the listener will not soon forget Heloise and her world.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • “Excellent…Shifting smoothly from Heloise’s past to her present, Lippman delivers an intense character study about a strong, complex woman whose love for her son compels her to make some desperate choices.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lippman, so smart, clear-sighted, and polished and yet so intense and furious, surveys the intersection of perpetual misogyny and the criminality of sex work in this psychologically astute, diabolically witty, intricately suspenseful, and stylishly righteous tale of atrocities and revenge.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[Lippman] slowly ratchets up the tension until the final, blood-drenched showdown…It’s a page-turner.” 

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, August 2012
  • One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books: Mysteries
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2013 Audie Award Finalist for Mystery

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Robert Blumenthal | 2/10/2014

    " This has to be one of the least "exciting", and, at the same time, one of the absolutely best mystery/thrillers that I have ever read. I am a huge fan of Laura Lippman, finding her one of the literary of all mystery writers. This latest novel is, in my mind, her most literary and best written of all. As I was reading it, I felt that it could have been written by Lorrie Moore or Sue Miller. It involves a suburban Madam who runs a high-class prostitution service in the Baltimore/D.C. area. She's far from the most perfect protagonist, but the author infuses her with an aura that makes her quite likable. I, as a reader, was rooting for her throughout the entire novel. A large portion of this novel deals with her running this illegal and morally questionable service while raising a son. There is some tension and excitement near the end where an easily predicted twist leads to an over-the-top suspenseful scene. Most of the novel, though, is essentially a character study about a damaged woman trying to survive and do something good for her son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Monica | 1/28/2014

    " The Helen/Heloise character is interesting, as is the description of the life of a financially successful suburban madam. The book didn't grab me the way some of Lippmann's others have done but still a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mary Ann | 1/24/2014

    " All the reviews were so great. I couldn't wait to read this book. At page 60 something I gave up. Boring! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Michele Montague | 12/31/2013

    " I enjoyed this book... "

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