Eliza has recently moved back to her native Maryland from England with her successful husband and two bright children. She’s finally feeling reasonably secure in her life when she gets an unexpected letter from Walter, the man who kidnapped her when she was 15 and is now scheduled for execution for murders he committed with her as a witness. Does her kidnapper finally want to talk to her so he can confess to other crimes? To explain why he left her alive when he killed the others? Or is he still toying with her, just because he can?
Lippman is one of my go-to authors for intelligently written literary thrillers, and I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE was such a great read, it even surpassed WHAT THE DEAD KNOW as my favorite of hers.
For the first part of the book, Lippman alternates chapters between the present and 1985, giving us a complete picture of Eliza now and as a teen and showing how the person Eliza is today was greatly affected by her harrowing experience with Walter.
Walter is a very fascinating kind of killer. He’s not your typical evil mastermind, just a confused sort of guy who stumbles into murder because he’s bad with women.
Later on in the book, we get insight into a couple of other characters – an anti-death penalty activist who has befriended Walter and hopes Eliza can deliver some sort of testimony that will stay his execution and the mother of one of the girls Walter killed (Holly) who blames Eliza for not doing more to help her daughter.
And that brings me to one of the book’s central questions: Could Eliza have done more? There are people who believe by not fighting back, Eliza was an accomplice in Holly’s death. But there are also those who believe not fighting back is what kept Eliza alive. Should she feel guilty for that? It’s all very thought provoking.
I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE is out now in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.