Title: I’d Know You Anywhere
Author: Laura Lippman
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher for tour with TLC Book Tours
First line: “Iso, time for-” Eliza Benedict paused at the foot of the stairs.
Eliza Benedict has spent the years since 1985 trying to forget Walter Bowman and the way he kidnapped her and held her captive for six weeks. She has a different name, she’s married, she has children. Her life is happy – or is, at least, until she receives a letter in the mail from Walter, currently on death row awaiting execution for the murder of another girl. He has tracked her down from a photo in a magazine and he wants to talk to her before his death. Eliza’s first instinct is to ignore the letter, but she knows that Walter won’t quit until he gets what he wants. She’s worried that Walter will expose her past to the press, which could result in her teenage daughter, Iso, and her son, Albie, finding out about the horrors in her history.
The novel switches back and forth between Eliza’s current life and Bowman’s crimes in 1984 and 1985. While the crimes are horrifying, Lippman writes them with subtlety, humanizing the victims, and creating a truly horrifying serial killer in Walter. There is a small mystery in this book, something that Walter wants Eliza to remember, a bit of evidence that would contradict her testimony at the time of his trial and possibly change his sentence from execution to life in prison. The mystery, however, isn’t the central story here – the story deals with how a woman could possibly go on living after an experience like Eliza had, how Eliza and Walter formed a connection during the time of her imprisonment – a connection that he calls upon when he contacts her, and the question of whether or not someone like Walter can be changed by his time in prison.
I completely enjoyed Lippman’s previous book, What the Dead Know, and she has followed it up with an equally textured and engrossing novel. This book is a literary psychological thriller – both a page turner and a brilliantly written examination of the evils some people are capable of, and the possibility of rising above the worst of one’s history.
(A review copy of I’d Know You Anywhere was provided to me by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it for this blog tour. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage in commission.)