And When She Was Good - Laura Lippman
In the comfortable suburb where Heloise Lewis 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.
But now, after a decade, her secret life is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new 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? And then she learns that her son’s father, a killer and former pimp, might be released from prison. With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life—again. Disappearing will be the easy part. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.
I have only read one other book by Laura Lippman and it was one I really didn't like, so I'm glad I decided to give her another whirl because this one was really quite good. Normally I give up on a book when I don't like the main character, and Heloise leaves a lot to be desired, but I kept going because her live is one giant, tangled ball of yarn. Nothing goes easy, nothing is every as cut and dry as she wants it to be and she's really weaved herself into quite a web. What I will say is that the part that is meant to thrill you... is really only meh. It's mediocre. That shouldn't be what keeps you here because you'll only be disappointed. Instead, it's her regular life. She is a suburban madam who for her entire life, consistently makes bad choices that she justifies as her only options. (Side note- I hate when people do that in real life. Make poor life choices and say, "Well my parents were really hard on me" or "I never really knew my dad so.." and the list goes on and on. Shut up- own up the fact you are completely clueless yet refuse to do any better because it's too hard.)
With that said though, I still don't know how I view Heloise. I mean, sure- she made some poor career choices. Got tangled with the wrong people. You can tell the author wants to portray her as this strong, do-it-for-yourself type woman who doesn't let people hold her back, but really? She isn't like that. I don't know. I flip flop on this because she could really go either way.
Overall, this is a good book. It gives you enough that you keep turning the page wondering how this woman got to the point where she is and you wonder what will happen to her in the end? Does she get killed? Does she learn to forgive and move on? Does she continue on her path? Or is it none of the above? I won't tell, but I will say to add this to your summer reading list.