“A middle-aged woman is involved in a hit-and-run accident. Two teenage girls are abducted from a shopping mall, never to be heard from again. These are the two major events that propel Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know, a disturbing novel of buried secrets and life's tragic surprises.
After fleeing a car accident, a middle-aged woman with no ID is questioned by both the police and hospital administration. Refusing to reveal her identity (and proof of health insurance), she instead hints that she is the younger of two sisters, Heather and Sunny Bethany, who disappeared the day before Easter in 1975. This gets everyone's attention. She knows both too much and not enough about the case, leading Baltimore police on wild goose chases to Pennsylvania and Georgia, saying just enough to stay out of jail and keep them interested, albeit suspicious. The narrative threads unravel into the various accounts of that Saturday's events, the aftermath of the disappearance, the investigation, and Heather's own increasingly desperate attempts to evade further disclosure.
Personally, I did not enjoy reading this book. In fact, I found that it was quite a chore, trudging through the storyline. I found the characters to be completely without depth and self-absorbed, making it extremely difficult to get to know and like them. It was curiosity rather than empathy that made me even finish the book. I really wanted it to be good - the subject was interesting - but in the end, it didn't hold my attention. I can't really recommend it to anyone.”