Summary via Audible.com:
Some secrets can’t be kept. . . .
Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years. And then the revelations start. Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered—and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.
I associate Laura Lippman with mysteries, and I was expecting this book to fall somewhere in the mystery/thriller genre.
It doesn’t, not really. Yes, there is a death (and exactly what happened is murky), and people trying to deal with what happened shapes the lives of the 5 kids (and associated parents) involved, but that’s just one part of the story.
This is a story of friendships and how they change, and how who you are as a child can affect the rest of your life.
It’s an extremely character centered book, spread among many characters. This leads to a complex, textured story that may not get as much depth as I would have liked with any given character. All of the characters were interesting. None of them were entirely likeable, but that can make for good reading.
The book features changing points of view– including one that I encountered for the first time in The Weird Sisters. I’m sure it has a name, but it’s a collective “we” referring to a group POV. Each character is referred to individually, but the general narration in these sections is from them together.
Most of the book is third person, focusing on a changing set of characters, taken from those involved with the death of a man the five children knew. The book jumps between their childhood and adult years, after the youngest of them dies in a car crash.
It was fascinating to get the view of their childhood friendship from so many perspectives, both at the time and years later, and to see how it shaped each of them as they became adults.
As a fun side note, Tess Monaghan (the detective from Lippman’s long running series) makes a cameo appearance in this book. I’ve only read a few of the books featuring her, and it took me a little while to place the name.
I was absorbed in this book the whole way through, and the end packed quite a punch– I’m not sure that I liked it, but it really made an impression. I’d love to discuss it with others that read the book, and see what they thought.
Narrator: I was impressed with the clear, efficient delivery of Linda Edmond.
Production: I had no issues.with the production of The Most Dangerous Thing. After I finished reading, I started thinking about this review, and wondered if the book would have been more effective with multiple narrators (maybe one male, one female?), or a narrator with a more atmospheric voice. Maybe, but this straightforward production allowed the voice of the book to come through, and that worked well in this case.
Audio or Print? Whatever is more convenient for you. I don’t think the audio production adds or detracts in this case.
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I received my copy of The Most Dangerous Thing for review from Harper Audio. Thank you!