Monday, January 31, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat

The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monagham Novel
Laura Lippman
William Morrow
Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-193836-8
176 pages

Many pregnant mothers-to-be find the last months tiresome, especially is they have preeclampsia.
Tess Monagham, being an older mother and now confined is definitely bored. She is accustomed
to an exciting life with running a private investigating agency.

While daily gazing at the neighboring park, she notices a woman in a green raincoat frequently walking
her dog. One day she notices that the dog is running lose and the woman is nowhere to be seen. Tess
begins her own investigation as to her supposed disappearance. Who is the woman? Why is the dog
running free?

Tess is fortunate to have employees who are extremely efficient and enjoy the investigation as much as
their boss. They are constantly keeping her informed about the developments while also constantly
checking on her needs. When Tess decides to temporarily keep the dog at her house, she discovers
that adapting a new dog to her household is not the easiest task, especially without being able to move
around much.

Originally this story was serialized in the New York Times Magazine and has finally been combined into
this novella. With similarities to Hitchcock’s Rear Window the character Tess takes the part of the
crippled Jimmy Stewart in this haunting tale.

The story was engaging though not as strong as her full length novels. For the loyal Lippman readers,
the reoccurring characters of Mrs. Blossom, Tess’s assistant, Dorie Starnes, her researcher, Whitney
Talbot, her long-timed best friend, and Crow, her artistic lover, are all true to character. If you have not
read previous Lippman novels, it would be difficult because the story depends on understanding the
character development in the previous novels. There is a short reacquaintance with the characters, but
with the shortness of the story, there is not much time allowed for the characterizations. The shortness
of this novella made it less intense and much lighter reading than usual. I enjoyed the book, knew the
characters well, and thoroughly enjoyed the ending twist.

Laura Lippman has worked as a school librarian and a reporter who was born in Atlanta and raised in Baltimore.

For those cold snowy days, curl up with The Girl in the Green Raincoat and prepare to be both warmed
with the characters but chilled by the action.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.