Rated Reads

The Girl in the Green Raincoat

by Laura Lippman

Rated: Mild

This novella that was originally serialized in the New York Times was my introduction to Laura Lippman and her private investigator Tess Monaghan. It was a fun, short way to get to know them, and I enjoyed the outing; I’ll have to check into some more of her writing.

Tess is pregnant and on bed rest, and it’s driving her crazy to have to sit still, unable to go out and investigate anything. She watches more daytime television than she has ever seen in her life and watches the view from her sun porch. One day she notices that the woman in a celery-green raincoat who has been walking her dog every day suddenly is not there anymore, but the dog is running around on a leash without his owner. Her detective instincts kick in, and she’s sure that something sinister has happened to the woman. Rather than letting the idea go, as her boyfriend Crow would like for her to do, Tess begins investigating in whatever ways she can: via phone, internet and friends: she orchestrates an inquiry from her couch.

Meanwhile, Tess is trying to figure out what her future is with Crow and how to be a first-time mother at 35. The novella plays out as we get to know a little bit more about each character in Tess’s sphere, as well as put together pieces of the puzzle that may or may not even exist surrounding the girl in the raincoat.

All around, an entertaining, light read.

Rated: Mild, for a few uses of mild and moderate language and some mild violence.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Girl in the Green Raincoat
  • by Laura Lippman
  • Rated: Mild
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: