Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Lu (short for Louisa) is the newly elected state’s attorney for Howard County in Maryland.  She takes on her first case, the murder of a single woman in her apartment, and as the investigation unfolds Lu begins to re-examine events from her own childhood and even her father’s (a former state’s attorney) most famous case.

Told in alternating chapters between the present and the past we learn about Lu’s upbringing by her single father and her worshipfulness towards her older brother AJ and his friends.  Lu is almost a footnote in her own life, finally being able to be the center her own story instead of the sister of AJ or her father’s daughter.  But as Lu starts to deconstruct the myths surrounding her family, including the famous case where her father got a murder conviction without a body and the time AJ came to the defense of his best friend while the attacker was accidently killed,  she begins to realize she may not know the truth but only a version of these stories she, and everyone else, believed in.

Not my favorite Lippman book even though I really liked the way the storylines all came together at the end.  It was good, but it was slow going.  This is one of those rare times I think I would have liked print better.  The readers (there were two, one for the past and one for the present) were both wonderful, but I would have liked to be able to skim a bit.