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Synopsis

Perennial New York Times and nationally bestselling author and acclaimed multiple–prize winner Laura Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.

When Hector Lewis told his daughter that she had a nothing face, it was just another bit of tossed-off cruelty from a man who specialized in harsh words and harsher deeds. But twenty years later, Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who knows how to avoid attention. In the comfortable suburb where she lives, she's just a mom, the youngish widow with a forgettable job who somehow never misses a soccer game or a school play. In the state capitol, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record.

But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams-if you can afford her hourly fee.

For more than a decade, Heloise has believed she is safe. She has created a rigidly compartmentalized life, maintaining no real friendships, trusting few confidantes. Only now her secret life, a life she was forced to build after the legitimate world turned its back on her, is under siege. Her once oblivious accountant is asking loaded questions. Her longtime protector is hinting at new, mysterious dangers. Her employees can't be trusted. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, a suicide. Or is it?

Nothing is as it seems as Heloise faces a midlife crisis with much higher stakes than most will ever know.

And then she learns that her son's father might be released from prison, which is problematic because he doesn't know he has a son. The killer and former pimp also doesn't realize that he's serving a life sentence because Heloise betrayed him. But he's clearly beginning to suspect that Heloise has been holding something back all these years.

With no formal education, no real family, and no friends, Heloise has to remake her life-again. Disappearing will be the easy part. She's done it before and she can do it again. A new name and a new place aren't hard to come by if you know the right people. The trick will be living long enough to start a new life.

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    Good story

    Really good read. Enjoyed every page.

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    And When She Was Good

    What is the book about? Follow Helen/Heloise from age 15 to 37, bouncing back and forth from present to present time reflecting on how she became a young worker in the sex industry during her twenties. You'll understand and see how she went from being a call girl to a madam who overlooks young call girls. You'll see how Heloise deals with her internal issues and her social problems that resulted her making less desirable choices and professions. What did I think of the book? You normally don't read a lot of books about prostitution, call girls or any other such profession. After reading Lippman's story you can understand how one might get themselves in this situation. It's just one version of the many I am sure are out there but I really enjoyed this book. The lack of emotion in the character kind of shows how dead inside she must feel. Despite being treated poorly over and over her response is dead like. She handles everything with a grain of salt, which I guess I expected considering the working conditions and the choices she makes.

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