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Summary

Mark Rubin's family is missing, and the police won't do a thing because all the evidence indicates his wife left willingly. The successful furrier turns to Tess Monaghan, hoping she can help him find his wife and three children. Tess doesn't know what to make of Rubin, a wealthy Orthodox Jew who doles out vitally important information in grudging dribs and drabs. According to Rubin, he and his beautiful wife, Natalie, had a flawless, happy marriage. Yet one day, without any warning or explanation, Natalie gathered up their children and vanished.

Tess is able to locate the runaway wife and her stolen progeny, moving furtively from state to state, town to town, but the Rubins are not alone. A man is traveling with them, a stranger, described as "handsome" and "charming" but otherwise unremarkable to casual observers who have no way of sensing the fury beneath his smooth surface.

An intricate web of betrayal and vengeance is already beginning to unravel, as memory begets rage and rage leads to desperation...and murder. Suddenly much more than one man's future happiness and stubborn pride are in peril; the lives of three innocent children are dangling by the slenderest of threads.

©2004 Laura Lippman (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Lippman delivers a smart, fast-paced, nuanced story that features a well-drawn supporting cast, including the endearing if dangerous city of Baltimore itself." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Laura Lippman in her series featuring Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan just keeps getting better and better." ( Houston Chronicle)
"Tess is feisty...And it is a joy to watch her come alive." ( Washington Times)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • 30-12-05

A nice find...

Just finished listening to this and can't wait to hear the next one - "To The Power of Three", (same excellent narrator too). You know the feeling you get when you've just finished a book by an author you previously knew nothing about but now can't wait to read all the books they've ever written? That's where I am now. Thanks Laura Lippman, I'm a fan!
To all the macho male readers: I confess I was doubtful about what I would get in a mystery novel about female private investigator written by a woman and narrated by a female. I was worried about an estrogen overdose in a usually male dominated genere. Not to worry guys, Ms Lippman writes at a level above the genre. The people and relationships feel real. The events are all plausible and follow normal logic - nothing like the usual cartoon characters, rediculous plot lines, and the 'I can see it coming' ending before the story even begins.
And the narrator, Linda Emond, was spot on perfect. Another nice discovery for me. Now I have to listen to all of her stuff too. The beginning of a beautiful relationship...Thanks
To Audible: Please give us more Laura Lippman and Linda Emond!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 11-02-05

Great Fun

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The characters were well drawn and had distinct personalities. The story was compelling and kept me wanting to listen to more! I liked this one a lot more than the last John Grisham I listened to, which about put me to sleep!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • ftmgal
  • 04-11-17

Good Tess Monaghan Entry, No. 8 of 12 in series

Although the story was a little convoluted, this was an excellent entry in the series. A very good listen overall.

This was the most backstory that I remember about her partial Jewish heritage in any of the books (although I've read them over many years and not in any order). I enjoyed that in particular since I'm not very knowledgeable in that area.

I especially enjoyed the communication and networking with the "Snoop Sisters". I read and listen a lot and can't think of anything similar. Probably the Patterson Ladies' Club uses the concept, but I don't read much Patterson.

Set in 2004 so cell phone and internet technology was included, but before "social media" so no Facebook, etc. Yea!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BJG
  • 07-03-10

Interesting

This book is a little different than other Tess Monaghan stories because it's a tiny bit philisophical. Tess talks with her orthodox jewish client about his missing wife, of course, and he's cleary hiding something. But she also find herself thinking about her own Jewish family. It's not as if the crime solving comes to screaching halt just to talk about jewish stuff (Faye Kellerman!) but it's an interesting spice added to an already above average missing persons case.

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars
  • Thomasina L. Ursich
  • 11-06-09

By a Spider's Thread

Good plot that keeps you guessing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Hancock
  • 24-08-15

Even abridged, & despite cheesy musical interludes, Tess is still good

Another great Tess Monoghan tale, though the abridgment takes away from Laura Lippman's usual skills & seemed too "action only" oriented. I don't want the film version in a book. And you can tell some audio director slapped the production together, by the way the sloppy, cheesy musical interludes were
placed incongruously & in seemingly random spots. That aside, however, the vocal performance was pitch perfect. Linda Emon did an excellent job narrating! And as always, even abridged, Ms Lippman did an excellent job of story weaving.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sharon Burns
  • 11-04-15

Couldn't quit lustening.....

A great listen. The narrator is superb. The story us intricate--many surprises along the way .... And it's always good to see what Tesser is up to

0 of 1 people found this review helpful