Cleo Sherwood disappeared eight months ago. Aside from her parents and the two sons she left behind, no one seems to have noticed. It isn’t hard to understand why: it’s 1964 and neither the police, the public nor the papers care much when Negro women go missing.
Maddie Schwartz – recently separated from her husband, working her first job as an assistant at the Baltimore Sun– wants one thing: a byline. When she hears about an unidentified body that’s been pulled out of the fountain in Druid Hill Park, Maddie thinks she is about to uncover a story that will finally get her name in print. What she can’t imagine is how much trouble she will cause by chasing a story that no-one wants her to tell.
I had never read any of Laura Lippmann’s work before Lady in the Lake, however, when I read the synopsis I knew that this was a book that I had to read.
A young, white, well off, Jewish woman has gone missing and it seems that everyone wants how find her yet when a young woman of colour goes missing and turns up dead it barely is acknowledged. It is the 1960s and black people are not given recognition in any situation. This was during the time of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, to name but a few. The book takes place during the civil rights movement but is not revolving around it instead we see the perspective of a while woman wanting to have the death of a black woman investigated and made public.
Maddie Schwartz has separated from her husband and is trying to make it on her own. She gets a job in a newspaper and uses her contacts to help her investigate the death of this young black woman, Cleo. We watch her work tirelessly to push through every stonewall she comes up against so that Cleo receives the respect she deserves along with her family receiving answers as to what happened to her.
Through the story we have first person narrative from characters that we have encountered giving us insight into each of these characters. Every single one of these characters garners affection from me, as a reader, even if I don’t feel that they are a likeable character.
Every part of the story is beautifully written, my favourite parts being when we hear from the Lady in the Lake and what she has to say to Maddie.
There is so much I want to write about this book but one of two things would happen, if not both, I would end up giving too much of the story away or it would take you as long to read my post as it takes to read Lady in the Lake! I will tell you though, that every single person that I meet I tell them how beautiful this book is and how phenomenal the story is. I tell them how it gripped me, tore at my emotions and made me feel like I was living it all as it unfolded.
I already have other Laura Lippmann books in my TBR and this is one you should add to yours.
I want to thank Faber for asking me to take part in this blog tour and sending me a copy of Lady in the Lake.