Monday, March 24, 2008

NO GOOD DEEDS by Laura Lippman

By Laura Lippman
William Morrow/Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780060570729
Hardback, 343 pages, $24.95
Genre: Mystery

In Lippman’s latest installment of the Tess Monaghan series, Tess has taken on a new gig as consultant to the local newspaper, where her job duties are to train reporters in investigative techniques, using three recent cases as paradigms. One of the cases Tess plans to focus on is the murder of a local federal prosecutor. When Tess’s significant other, Crowe, befriends a homeless street kid, Tess inadvertently learns the young man has information about who killed the prosecutor. In an effort to inform the authorities without identifying her source, Tess sets up an interview between the young man and a reporter. Although she promises Crowe she will do everything she can to protect the young man’s identity, federal agents insist she reveal her source. When Tess doesn’t cooperate, they begin to threaten her family and hint at filing felony charges against her. Crowe goes into hiding with the young man, unaware that two federal agents have honed in and are after them, not to bring them in but to kill them.

The Tess Monaghan series remains a constant bestseller in PI series to date. Tess is a strong character, a young woman with an edge. To counterbalance her cynicism is her mate, laidback and amiable Crowe. Lippman excels at characterization, and with No Good Deeds allows the reader a deeper look into Crowe’s persona and background. And, as always, spending time with Tess is a bonus. This must-read moves at a fast pace and has plenty of interesting characters.

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