Book Review: The Most Dangerous Thing

The Most Dangerous Thing

Laura Lippman

William Morrow

352 pages

I love Laura Lippman.  I have read all of her stand alone novels, with the exception of one or two.  So you can understand my elation at finding a copy of her newest book in my mailbox.  I squealed with delight and shoved the book in my husband’s face, although he was understandably more reserved.

The Most Dangerous Thing starts off with Gordon, aka Go-Go, smashing his car straight into a concrete barrier.  He is killed instantly, and questions immediately emerge due to the circumstances.  He is an alcoholic who has recently fallen off the wagon, but despite his high level of intoxication, it seems questionable as to whether or not he purposely drove into the wall.

Go-Go’s death brings together his group of friends from childhood: Gwen, Mickey (now McKey), and Go-Go’s older brothers Sean and Tim.  They are harboring a childhood secret involving Go-Go, and they are unsure whether or not this secret could be a catalyst in Go-Go’s death.

The secret is slowly unraveled throughout the novel, and the narration switched between the viewpoints of the four remaining friends, as well as between their parents.  I’ll be completely honest; the mystery did not intrigue me at all. It seemed lackluster and apparent from very early on.  The way the characters dealt with what was going on seemed contrived.  I liked the way the novel was divided into four parts, but I think the fact that there were so many different points of view made it seem more muddled.  And the most important character of them all–Go-Go–seemed a bit ignored.

Go-Go was really the only character that seemed genuine to me, and his story was told through everyone else.  Maybe instead of focusing on so many characters, Lippman should have chosen just a few characters to focus on.  Not to mention, the group of friends are now middle aged, but none of them seemed to mature past their childhood antics.  I would have hoped for a lot more growth among the characters for a book that spanned such a large amount of time.

By now it’s pretty obvious that The Most Dangerous Thing fell flat for me.  Lippman is one of those authors I will always look forward to, regardless of how I feel about this particular book.  But I would be lying if I didn’t say this one really disappointed me.

Other Reviews:

I know I just commented on one the other day but I couldn’t find it!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.


5 Responses

  1. It’s so disappointing to feel let down by a favorite author like that. =( I haven’t read any of her books yet so I’ll know to start with a different one!

  2. Oh I’m so sad to hear this! I have this one too, and was similarly excited to receive it. Rats!

  3. I really enjoy Lippman’s work, so I’m sad to see this one didn’t work for you.

  4. So much more disappointing when an author you love fails to deliver!

  5. Lippman has been on my ‘authors to read’ list for a long time – will be sure not to start here. Sorry you were disappointed.

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