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I ve come upon yet another book set in my hometown of Balti, MD This one mentions lots of places I know very well, so it makes the storyimmediate.Just finished the bookthere are lots of things I love about Laura Lippman s writing, and I will definitely readof her books, but as I have seen in many of the reviews, this is not her best work The story started out like gangbusters, and I was very intrigued for about the first 1 3rd of the book, but then the story started to meand I ve come upon yet another book set in my hometown of Balti, MD This one mentions lots of places I know very well, so it makes the storyimmediate.Just finished the bookthere are lots of things I love about Laura Lippman s writing, and I will definitely readof her books, but as I have seen in many of the reviews, this is not her best work The story started out like gangbusters, and I was very intrigued for about the first 1 3rd of the book, but then the story started to meander and my interest level decreased significantly As the reader tries to make sense of a shooting of three high school girls in one of the school bathrooms, clues are released a bit at a time and momentum builds, but then the whole thing starts to fall flat The ending is a surprise, but it s anti climactic and ultimately dissatisfying The book is billed as a mystery, but I did not see enough of the necessary elements for it to fit in that category.Still want to say Hooray for Balti s own Laura Lippman, however, ad that I plan to give some of her other books a try To the Power of Three was my first novel by Laura Lippman It s hard to know what to say about it because while I didn t love it, I certainly appreciated its merits To the Power of Three tells the story of Kat, Perri and Josie, childhood best friends One June morning, one of the three brings a gun to school, shoots two of the girls one fatally and then herself The novel then begins to unravel the story of what would have caused this horrible act of violence.Lippman is an accomplished writer To the Power of Three was my first novel by Laura Lippman It s hard to know what to say about it because while I didn t love it, I certainly appreciated its merits To the Power of Three tells the story of Kat, Perri and Josie, childhood best friends One June morning, one of the three brings a gun to school, shoots two of the girls one fatally and then herself The novel then begins to unravel the story of what would have caused this horrible act of violence.Lippman is an accomplished writer In some ways, her work reminds me of Carol Goodman Lippman s characters were complicated and well drawn even minor characters have interior lives, hopes and fears We come to understand these three girls and share their bond through the years of their friendship, but we only come to understand what caused one of the girls to take such drastic measures at the novel s conclusion.For me, that was the novel s weakness The book s over 400 pages long too long, perhaps, for such a mediocre resolution As a reader, we ve invested a great deal in these characters and their parents and peripheral friends that it s a let down to discover what actually happened on that fateful day and why it happened After giving thisthought, I think the reason why the ending didn t work for me is because it gives one of the characters a moral compass that while not exactly coming out of nowhere doesn t seem earned either To the Power of Three wasn t a page turner in the way that some mysteries are Perhaps that balancing act is hard to achieve literature and suspense a well written story that you speed through because you can t bear not to know whodunit For my money, no one manages that sort of book better than Thomas H Cook Still, Lippman s skills are apparent and I d certainly read her again In fact, I have What the Dead Know waiting on my tbr shelf This is my first Lippman book and I will definitely be readingThe story is so well crafted Three friends found shot in their high school bathroom It looks like a simple case of jealousy among teen girls but as the years of friendship unravel it s not what it originally seems, but then again, it actually is I found the ending believablethan shocking For me, it s not always important to have a gasp revelation in the final chapter I think it sdifficult to slowly flesh out This is my first Lippman book and I will definitely be readingThe story is so well crafted Three friends found shot in their high school bathroom It looks like a simple case of jealousy among teen girls but as the years of friendship unravel it s not what it originally seems, but then again, it actually is I found the ending believablethan shocking For me, it s not always important to have a gasp revelation in the final chapter I think it sdifficult to slowly flesh out what the reader thinks they already know and make it acceptable rather than exceptional Lippman does just that a subtle mention of one thing will resurface chapters later and help to fill in a blank A small memory from years prior suddenly becomes paramount in a character s present decision There is a long list of characters yet it never becomes cumbersome, each character is a carefully placed piece of the puzzle A great read I am excited to have found this author So many people have recommended Laura Lippman to me that I was extra disappointed that this book didn t wow me I thought the writing style odd at times even though it s in the 3rd person, the tone would change dramatically depending on which character it was following gruff cop, ditzy teenager, etc.The plot trods along dully, when a murder mystery should have an exciting pace the big reveal at the end left me feeling like OK, so that s what happened , not OH SNAP THAT S WHAT HAPPENED So many people have recommended Laura Lippman to me that I was extra disappointed that this book didn t wow me I thought the writing style odd at times even though it s in the 3rd person, the tone would change dramatically depending on which character it was following gruff cop, ditzy teenager, etc.The plot trods along dully, when a murder mystery should have an exciting pace the big reveal at the end left me feeling like OK, so that s what happened , not OH SNAP THAT S WHAT HAPPENED which is what one wants from such a book Not to mention the nature of the big reveal is lame too.The best thing about this book was the way it did successfully capture the complexity of relationships between teenage girls and particularly the way things get extra complicated when there are three That was very well done.Otherwise yawn People love her so I will give her another chance, but I ll first figure out which book of hers people think is best Laura Lippman s best, IMHO This is about 3 girls who were BFF s over a period of 10 years in a section of Maryland that is high end mixed with old rural on the farther Northern reaches of Balti It s excellent It holds such deep character study that I have actually read this twice, about 10 years apart Found it laying in a rental home s take one, leave one paperback trove I left 3 and took this one With competition for college path and access being what they are, and with the emotive Laura Lippman s best, IMHO This is about 3 girls who were BFF s over a period of 10 years in a section of Maryland that is high end mixed with old rural on the farther Northern reaches of Balti It s excellent It holds such deep character study that I have actually read this twice, about 10 years apart Found it laying in a rental home s take one, leave one paperback trove I left 3 and took this one With competition for college path and access being what they are, and with the emotive and crony slants of high school passage I feel that this book is rather timely in 2015, as much as it was when it was written.It truly is one of those criminal investigations that exposes and transpose farthan the crux natures of the principle players It also through secondary characters like Peter and Alexa the counselor holds an incredible core of cognition for perceived ambition, goals, success Lots to ponder upon this entire outplay It would make a top notch book club pick discussion.Having read her series and most of her stand alone novels, this one is absolutely the closest hit to the bull s eye As a parental observation, it may haveto parse for the generation who has experienced the full span of raising a daughter from an infant to full encompassing adulthood I doubt most understanding of this novel, from some other reviewers I note from the ratings that many younger people don t grab on this one or fully grasp the depth of Kit s parents word count My rec for Laura Lippman new readers is this one And I will read her remaining stand alone novels that I have missed in the intervening decade She is one of the few remaining novelists who intrinsically understands vast repercussions for lives completely experienced within the service or lesser working classes of urban and rural America Lippman s freestanding novels are not your standard mysteries She has also written a series featuring a PI named Tess Monaghan, of which I ve read part of one, that I m not really interested in pursuing Yes, there s been a crime committed, and there usually are police involved, but her writing spendstime digging into the minds of the people involved, and looking at how their histories have led them to be connected to the crime in some way I remarked to a friend as I was reading this t Lippman s freestanding novels are not your standard mysteries She has also written a series featuring a PI named Tess Monaghan, of which I ve read part of one, that I m not really interested in pursuing Yes, there s been a crime committed, and there usually are police involved, but her writing spendstime digging into the minds of the people involved, and looking at how their histories have led them to be connected to the crime in some way I remarked to a friend as I was reading this that it wasn t really grabbing me, and it never really did, not in that stay up all night to finish way Yet I couldn t put it down, and not because of my usual compulsion to finish a book no matter how dreadful e.g., the James Moore book I read recently, which I can t even justify donating to the library book sale I don t think ANYONE should have to read it, it s that bad The Three of the title are three girls, high school seniors, who met in third grade and have been virtually joined at the hip from then until about a year before the book opens Before the first chapter closes, one of them is dead, one near death, and the third injured, in superficially straightforward circumstances that nonetheless raise the suspicions of the investigating officer The story of their trio, what brought and kept them together and what tore them apart, set amid the petty politics found in any high school, is the larger mystery at the heart of the book.I m not prone to obsessively looking for clues as I read in order to determine whodunnit before the author takes me there, so I can t really say whether I could have figured it out if I d been paying attention that way I had a pretty good idea where we were headed, but the reveal tied up all those annoying loose ends very tidily And no one lived happily ever after Four and three quarters stars one of Lippman s very best And not, in any way, a typical police procedural, thriller or cozy, which is probably why other reviewers didn t particularly care for this stand alone Here s what I absolutely loved about this book Lippman gets three things absolutely right young teenage girls, schools and the way they work, and what life is like in a community of privilege, like the fictional Glendale The things the girls say to each other, what they worry about, Four and three quarters stars one of Lippman s very best And not, in any way, a typical police procedural, thriller or cozy, which is probably why other reviewers didn t particularly care for this stand alone Here s what I absolutely loved about this book Lippman gets three things absolutely right young teenage girls, schools and the way they work, and what life is like in a community of privilege, like the fictional Glendale The things the girls say to each other, what they worry about, the things they deem important important enough, it turns out, to kill.I was enthralled by this book, beginning to end even though Lippman left a few hanging threads Having spent 30 years of my life working with teenage girls, in a community with some similarities to Glendale, I found all of it pitch perfect, utterly believable And I didn t figure it out or see the surprises coming This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I am not usually hooked by mysteries, but this one had such an interesting premise an inexplicable shooting involving three girls, best friends, at a suburban highschool that I read on But in the end I was disappointed The solution seemed contrived, unrelated to the personalities of the characters a typical mystery writer s attempt to dig up the least likely explanation for an event so the reader will not be able to guess at it Lippman threw away a good opportunity here to explore I am not usually hooked by mysteries, but this one had such an interesting premise an inexplicable shooting involving three girls, best friends, at a suburban highschool that I read on But in the end I was disappointed The solution seemed contrived, unrelated to the personalities of the characters a typical mystery writer s attempt to dig up the least likely explanation for an event so the reader will not be able to guess at it Lippman threw away a good opportunity here to explore the fairly dark world of contemporary teens I have to say I found this book to be pretty disappointed I expected muchI think the author could have done a lotwith the story It had the potential to be really good, but definitely fell short The book went on for much longer than it needed to I was interested enough to want to know what happened at the end, and when I finally made it there, I said, that s it I wanted a lot. `Ebook ⇻ To the Power of Three ⇹ There are excellent reasons why New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman has won the Edgar , Agatha, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, and every other major award the mystery genre has to offer To the Power of Three is just one of those reasons Lippman s brilliant and disturbing tale of three inseparable high school girlfriends in an affluent Balti suburb who share dark secrets literally until death, To the Power of Three is this writing powerhouse USA Today , who has exploded the boundaries of the mystery genre to become one of the most significant social realists of our time Madison Smartt Bell operating at the very top of her game Not merely crime fiction, but fiction that gets to the deep psychological, emotional, and human roots of a terrible crime, Lippman s novel is one that will not be easily forgotten a must read for fans of Kate Atkinson, Tana French, Jodi Picoult, and Harlan Coben