Friday, August 3, 2012

And When She Was Good-Laura Lippman

And When She Was Good

Laura Lippman

Morrow, Aug 14 2012, $26.99

ISBN: 9780061706875

In 1989 her abusive father informs young Heloise Lewis “You have a nothing face.” At the time she was hurt by his callowness though that was her cruel dad being his usual nastiness. Now she thrives on that non visage as a suburban Maryland single soccer mom who always attends her middle school son Scott’s games. A widow, Heather runs the Women’s Full Employment Network that is registered with the IRS as a not for profit lobbying for equal pay. However, in fact the firm is a front for a six stable call girl operation.

For a decade Heloise has been a doting mom, a successful madam and a failure lobbyist. However, her construct collapses when she learns that Scott’s biological dad Val Deluca, who was her pimp, may get out of prison; a place she sent him to on a homicide life sentence conviction. Though Val knows nothing about an offspring or who betrayed him, Heloise is frightened as a recently caught suburban madam died mysteriously. She assumes Val would expect to return as her pimp or to kill her as he would suspect she betrayed him. Heloise knows it is time to reinvent herself.

Heloise is a fascinating character who co-starred with her sister in “Scratch a Woman” (see Hardly Knew Her anthology). A former call girl turned madam she has reinvented herself in the past, but has the complication of her tweener son. Fast-paced, readers will appreciate Heloise’s plight as she leans towards flight over fight.

Harriet Klausner

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