The bestselling author of After I’m Gone, Laura Lippman’s latest novel is the engrossing, suspense-packed Wilde Lake. She talks to Farhana Gani about the books that matter most to her.
What is Wilde Lake about?
American reporter turned writer Laura Lippman has been awarded every major prize in crime fiction and her books always hit the New York Times bestseller lists.
Her latest novel, Wilde Lake, penetrates deeply into the life of Luisa ‘Lu’ Brant, the newly elected state prosecutor of Howard County, Maryland, following in her father’s footsteps.
At 39, following the death of her husband, Lu has moved in with her father. With the help of Teensy, the housekeeper who brought her up, she’s raising her twins in her old childhood home.
Fiercely intelligent and hungry for success, Lu is working on a tough case—the Drysdale Case. A mentally disturbed drifter is accused of strangling a middle-aged woman to death in her home.
As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories of the night when AJ, her brother, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. AJ was cleared by a grand jury but now Lu finds herself reliving the events and wondering if her memories are reliable.
Wilde Lake is a brilliantly complex and psychologically mystery. As Lu investigates the Drysdale case and relives her brother’s trial, she finds herself questioning everything around her. What it means to be a man or woman of one’s time—and if she could find out the whole truth, would she really want to?
We asked Laura Lippman about the books she currently has on her mind.
FG: What’s currently on your bedside table?
LL: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Stoner by John Williams (I'm often late to the party)
Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante
Factory Man by Beth Macy
Go, Dog, Go by P. D. Eastman (My 6-year-old sleeps in my bed when her father is out of town.)
Which books would you recommend to your closest friend right now?
The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood
Die of Shame by Mark Billingham
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Which book are you planning to take on your next journey?
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg
Americans think that class doesn't matter that much in the United States, but I think it matters a lot.
Maybe not as much as race, but it's still significant to understanding our history and our culture.
Do you discuss the books you read with anyone?
With everyone! There's a young man at my favourite sandwich shop who likes to talk about non-fiction, so we swap recommendations. And most of my friends are writers, so we speak about books endlessly.
Which book made you want to write?
All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers by Larry McMurtry.
I first read this early McMurtry novel when I was on a bus in Texas, travelling to see my boyfriend.
From its first lines, I was in its spell. And I remember thinking, 'I hope I can make someone else feel that way one day, reading something I have written.’
If you weren’t writing you’d be…?
Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman is published by Faber & Faber. Browse similar titles in our shop