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Download What the Dead Know Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What the Dead Know Audiobook, by Laura Lippman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,103 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Lippman Narrator: Linda Emond Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9780061435171
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Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who'or what'could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been, why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn't a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead-end'a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed in what appeared to be the perfect household.

In a story that moves back and forth across the decades, there is only one person who dares to be skeptical of a woman who wants to claim the identity of one Bethany sister without revealing the fate of the other. Will he be able to discover the truth?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Linda Emond] captures the petulant and sly tones of young teenage girls trying to pull a fast one on their parents and also the desperate, combative voice of a woman who knows she is speaking the truth but must be careful how much information she reveals…Emond’s thoroughly professional narration will hook listeners into this compelling story.”

    Booklist

  • “Linda Emond’s voice is neutral in filling in the aftermath of the abduction. She saves emotion for her depiction of the suspicious detective who reopens the cold case. Emond's characterization of this feisty, sexually charged man is edged with rough and passionate tones.” 

    AudioFile

  • “The story moves back and forth through time with suspenseful pacing as the listener gradually begins to understand the terrible consequences of this event. When the girls’ mother is finally located, the dramatic suspense is breathtaking and leads to a finale that is completely plausible and satisfying. Linda Emond gives a wonderful performance.” 

    Library Journal

  • “Lippman crafts a tale that resonates long after the last page is turned.

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A 2008 Anthony Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • Winner of the 2009 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel
  • Winner of the 2008 Barry Award for Best Novel
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie H. | 2/1/2014

    " This book is not part of Lippman's excellent Tess Monaghan series, but because I like her writing, I pulled it off the shelf. It's a stand-alone story in which a woman is found wandering along the Baltimore beltway after having been involved in a car accident. When picked up by the police she "accidentally" (you're just not sure) identifies herself as the younger of two sisters abducted in the 1970s and not seen since. From there on out the race is on to try to identify the woman. Is she really who she says she is? What information might she provide that could solve the case? Where is her sister? Who abducted them, and how were two girls taken simultaneously from a crowded shopping mall on a Saturday? Should her mother, who has been living in torment after the loss of her daughters, the break-up of her marriage and subsequent death of her ex-husband, and the utter loss of hope, be brought in (from Mexico, where she now lives) and dragged through it all again when the would-be Heather Bethany might well be an imposter guilty of identity theft and attempted financial fraud? The chapters alternate back and forth between social workers, police, and others trying to sort the woman's identity in the present and the family dynamic and events leading up to and beyond the girls' abduction. All I can say is that the Creep Factor of the girls' dad is positively off the charts. If I were either of these girls (or their mother!), I'd have definitely gotten them away from him. The story was incredibly complex, with interesting twists and turns--so very much more than the simple is she? or isn't she? scenario. I must also say that it was emotionally exhausting to read. The ending was interesting, possibly realistic (I have my qualms), and extremely provocative and unsettling. While I wouldn't want to read books like this all the time--it reminded me of a better-written James Patterson--I'm not unhappy that I read it. (I am, however, incredibly homesick for the places described in the book and author's note given that I find myself 1,200 miles from there.) Lippman's a great writer, and I am happy to have joined her on this exploration of different sorts of writing, events, characters, and emotions. Now, let's get back to Tess as I couldn't go to sleep after finishing this unsettling book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jetswv | 1/31/2014

    " Fascinating read - very well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 1/28/2014

    " Decent murder mystery written more in a lit style. Kept me guessing until the end, which was plausible. I just thought the ultimate symmetry to the story was very unoriginal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofia Galvez | 1/17/2014

    " I really liked this story. It had me hooked cause I just wanted to know what happen. This is the 2nd book I have read from the author and I find the format to be very similar. Reading the past and then the present trying to weave together the stories. I think that's how I got hooked. I just wanted to know what happen to the girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 1/16/2014

    " I've been wanting to try this author for awhile because I heard that she's a very good mystery and crime writer. The story was a good one and it was well-written, other than that it was too verbose at times. It loses a star for gratuitous and unnecessary profanity and sex, which always pulls down the overall quality of a book for me. But the mystery itself was very good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annette Frost | 1/13/2014

    " This one surprised me. I knew something was off the whole book, but I didn't see the twist. That's good writing. It is one of those books that switches from different characters' perspective, so you have to pay attention. Recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suni Jump | 1/9/2014

    " I enjoyed reading this book except it wasn't much of a mystery for me. I had a hunch what the ending was going to be like and I was right. I felt like it was pretty easy to find out. I really enjoyed how the author gave us different perspectives and let us see the family up close. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mache | 12/19/2013

    " a case of identities shuffled in the past... a mistake, a past buried, a future uncertain and a journey 30 years in the making. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seema | 12/19/2013

    " This is not quite a traditional twist/turn mystery. It's well written book and handles the mystery spanning several decades well. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lara | 12/15/2013

    " I will certainly read more of Laura Lippman - this title was a joy to read because I truly didn't figure out the killer until it was revealed and what a reveal it was! Lippman's detail and character development is a breath of fresh air. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cat Mckaig | 12/9/2013

    " Enjoyed this book. The plot was suspenseful and enjoyed the Baltimore setting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pat | 11/22/2013

    " I will read more of her books. This was a good mystery concerning the kidnapping sisters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy | 11/20/2013

    " zzzzzz. I couldn't make myself care enough. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Blessedutopia | 10/5/2013

    " I very much didn't care for the writing. Very repetative...gave tons of pointless information to fill an obvious lack of talent or subject or both. The story had some decent twits but the writing was so horrid it overshadowed the story. Kinda disappointed in this one "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mickey Taylor | 9/8/2013

    " It was amazing!!! It shocked me, and I don't get shocked easy! I loved it! I don't care who you are, GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 8/24/2013

    " I was more drawn in by this book than I thought I would be. I read it in record time, and the plot twist surprised and delighted me. And I loved the closing statement. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 2/27/2013

    " Well written but I totally guess the "twist"... though it wasn't too hard to guess. After that though, the book just kinda drags. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenni | 2/6/2013

    " Mystery about two young girls who get abducted in the 70's. A good read, nothing special. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristine | 12/11/2012

    " At the moment, I'm forcing myself through this book. Every chapter is about a different person and I'm quite confused to be honest. I did finish it and it turned out alright but not a book I'd recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 7/12/2012

    " The book was good and I wanted to know what happened so I finished it. It is an interesting psychological thriller. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Ellen Siders | 6/26/2012

    " Interesting premise but a bit slow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Conatser | 6/25/2012

    " To be fair, I skimmed this book. Though fairly well-written with a good plot idea, I found that I just didn't care about the characters. I read the first few chapters word for word, and then found that speed-reading gave me all I needed for the rest of the book. Overall - meh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L | 5/19/2012

    " Lots of twists and turns in this mystery! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jamie | 1/22/2012

    " disconnected. terrible. didn't even finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Jay | 1/19/2012

    " This was a good book. Most of the time, when I read a book, I pretty much figure out "who done it" right away. Not this one ~ it had a really good share of twists and turns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dottie | 5/21/2011

    " Good read. Keeps you guessing until the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cissie | 5/17/2011

    " I'm not much a crime mystery reader, but I am so glad I picked this book up!
    Excellent book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maura | 5/16/2011

    " A very good mystery based on the unsolved disappearance of the Lyon sisters from Wheaton Plaza in the 1970s. Brought back memories of the different stores and other '70s era stuff that I had forgotten. I spent a lot of time in my high school days at that Plaza. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Selena | 5/15/2011

    " I really liked this book. Excellent plot, well developed characters. It looses a star only because I thought the ending was a bit rushed and certain characters could've been developed more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 5/11/2011

    " Intriguing plot that kept me guessing; I enjoyed the multiple points of view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 5/6/2011

    " Keeps you guessing until the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 5/5/2011

    " This book is kind of perfect. Laura Lippman has amazing command of the English Language. I was completely surprised by the ending. Thinking about it sends chills through me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Audrey | 4/21/2011

    " i've finished this book and i still don't know what the dead know. I found the story compelling and was surprised as the author wanted, but i found the numerous POVs and time shifts distracting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 4/9/2011

    " Fast paced mystery about two girls who vanished from a shopping mall in 1975 - and what really happened to them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elise | 4/6/2011

    " This was a random Kindle purchase, but a good one. Not an entirely feel-good story but an easy, decently written read. I would read more of her work if I were between books and had nothing else in mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Delia | 4/4/2011

    " Didn't love this book. About 75 pages too long... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 4/3/2011

    " I think this was the longest I've ever taken to read a book. I kept putting it down rather than picking it up. But I always finish what I start. Hope someone else will enjoy it more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 3/21/2011

    " Much more gripping than Life Sentences "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 3/21/2011

    " Lippman is a pro--this book is just the right combination of mysterious, addictive, and bittersweet. That last line is poignant and perfect. "

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About the Author
Author Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at the Baltimore Sun. She began writing novels while working full time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her most recent books have all been New York Times bestsellers, and her work has been awarded the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, Shamus, Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe, and Barry Awards. She has also been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Baltimore Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman lives in Baltimore.

About the Narrator

Linda Emond is an award-winning actress of stage, film, television, and audiobook narration. Her performances on Broadway earned her nominations for the Tony Award in 2003 and 2012 and for the Drama Desk Award in 1997 and 2002. She was awarded the Joseph Jefferson Award for her roles in plays at theaters in Chicago. Her film credits include roles in Julie & Julia, Dark Water, and Across the Universe, among others. Her television credits include such series as Elementary, The Good Wife, and Law & Order: SVU, as well as movies such as A Dog Named Christmas. She has narrated dozens of audiobooks, winning three Earphones Awards and being named a finalist four times for the prestigious Audie Award. In 2011 she was named by AudioFile magazine as a Best Voice in Mystery & Suspense for her reading of Flash and Bones.