Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
A Novel

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“From its gripping opening pages…Life Sentences may be the most absorbing, entertaining mystery published in the last year.”

Boston Globe


USA Today calls Laura Lippman, “A writing powerhouse,” and Life Sentences powerfully confirms it. Past and present, truth and memory collide in this searing novel from a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have won virtually every major prize bestowed for  crime fiction—from the Edgar® to the Anthony to the Agatha to the Nero Wolfe Award. As she did in her blockbuster What the Dead Know, Lippman takes a brief hiatus from her popular series character, Baltimore p.i. Tess Monaghan, to tell a riveting story of deceptions and dangerously fragile truths that People magazine says, “Succeeds brilliantly.”


About Laura Lippman

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Laura Lippman has lived in Baltimore most of her life and she would have spent even more time here if the editors of the Sun had agreed to hire her earlier. She attended public schools and has lived in several of the city's distinctive neighborhoods, including Dickeyville, Tuscany-Canterbury, Evergreen, and South Federal Hill.
Published March 2, 2009 by William Morrow. 370 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Life Sentences

Kirkus Reviews

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Even as her attraction for Callie’s attorney, Reg Barr—Tisha’s brother and Donna’s husband—becomes an echo of her father’s interracial relationship with Annie, Cassandra knows that she will never be part of their circle, any more than silent, wary Callie will ever become part of Cassandra’s empir...

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The New York Times

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The main character in Laura Lippman’s “Life Sentences” is a popular writer named Cassandra Fallows.

Mar 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel

Book Reporter

What, Cassandra wonders, caused Callie’s life to go so awry, when her life --- and the lives of the other African-American girls in their clique --- turned out so much better?

Mar 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel

The Washington Post

Tisha, refusing to talk to her childhood friend, declares, "Maybe we're all just done being supporting players in the Cassandra Fallows show, starring Cassandra Fallows as Cassandra Fallows."

Mar 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel


As Cassandra tries to uncover the story she uncovers many things about her childhood friends and her own family.

Mar 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel


Figuring this had to be the same person, Cassandra decided to make Calliope's story the heart of her next book.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Laura Lippman, a Baltimore native, often features her hometown in her acclaimed work—including her Tess Monaghan series (Another Thing to Fall, 3.5 of 5 Stars July/Aug 2008), as well as her earlier, highly acclaimed stand-alone thriller, What the Dead Know ( 4.5 of 5 Stars Selection July/Aug 2007).

Mar 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel


When Cassandra reads about a former school friend jailed for contempt for not revealing the whereabouts of her baby’s body, Cassandra gets the idea to write about her childhood and her friends, and the events that lead them to their present-day lives.

Nov 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Life Sentences: A Novel

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