AND WHEN SHE WAS GOOD, by Laura Lippman

Lippman's style of writing puts her in a class by herself: she sneaks up on you with what could be perceived as a benign tale about Helen Lewis, a woman who runs a high-end call girl operation. The story shuttles back and forth from her childhood, when her vicious father called her "nothing face", through the various years - and men - that formed her, to the present day as she juggles the boxes of her life. She's compartmentalized everything to keep it all separate...and safe. But she really isn't safe at all, in fact she's a prime candidate for murder. I love being blind-sided by a writer, and Laura Lippman, a New York Times bestselling author, does a flawless job of just that. She also gives a compelling portrait of a woman trying to get by, and of other women struggling to do the same. Her voice is accurate and telling. All in all, a great read. This is a 5.