This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.
Summary from Goodreads:
On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.
But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves.
Now that’s she’s a mother herself–short on time, patience–Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs.
As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.
Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . .
Traveling With T’s Thoughts:
This is my 3rd Laura Lippman book (but just my second Tess Monaghan one- although the other I read was more about introducing Sandy to us as Tess’s partner- so this is my first real introduction to Tess).
So, how did I like Tess?
Oh I loved her! Smart, witty- she’s a character that I would like to get to know better.
HUSH HUSH jumps back and forth- it flips from interviews with people that knew Melissandre before the death of her daughter, to Tess’s ruminations on finding balance in her new life as a mom, to other characters revealing bits and pieces. If you don’t like a lot of jumping around in your story- this could be off-putting. However, for me, when done right in a mystery- it’s good and Laura Lippman did it right!
The main question of the book is not if Melissandre did the crime- but if that was her intent or if she was criminally insane. Tess, being a mom now, can not understand Melissandre’s actions- and views her as manipulative; especially when she sees how her lawyer Tyner (a relative of Tess) acts around her. With Melissandre wanting to film the documentary, reunite with her daughters, and some secret desires- Tess and Sandy have their hands full- trying to keep Melissandre safe and sound.
When Tess starts figuring out everything- what happened years ago to lead to this and what’s happening now- you, the reader, will enjoy seeing her wheels spin as she puts it all together!
Bottom line: While I can’t say for 100% if this Tess book is as good as the earlier ones in the series, I can say that Tess impressed me- and I was thoroughly entertained in HUSH HUSH.
*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T