No Good Deeds Unabridged Cd: A Tess Monaghan Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, Jun 29 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Emond has played some amazing characters in the past; her brilliant performance in Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul won her an Obie Award. But she is mismatched for No Good Deeds. Lippman's new crime novel commences with a prologue by Crow, Tess Monaghan's boyfriend. The juxtaposition of male narrator and female voice is rather jarring, but mercifully brief. Emond's strongest suit is her performance of the narrative itself, filled as it is with Lippman's intimate knowledge of South Baltimore and its denizens. Unfortunately, the characters themselves are barely distinguishable: white, black, mature or young—they sound alike. Perhaps Emond was puzzled about how to handle the novel's bizarre plotting—for instance, Crow's insistence on taking home with him the youth who has slashed his tire. It's hard to pay attention to tracking the intricacies of a crime novel when you fear the sleuths need therapy. Perhaps the author is as much off here as the performer. Baltimore crime buffs might opt for a rerun of The Wire instead.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In Tess Monaghan's ninth outing, an impulse to do good leads to murder. When Crow Ransome, Tess' live-in boyfriend, catches 16-year-old Lloyd Jupiter running a tire scam on his car, he takes him home to ensure he has a place to sleep for the night. By accident, Tess discovers their reluctant guest has some intriguing information about the high-profile murder of a federal prosecutor. When Tess turns the information over to the papers, she's assured her source will be anonymous; not so Tess herself, however, and it isn't long before an aggressive assistant U.S. district attorney and two burly federal cops are knocking on her door. To protect the boy, Crow takes Lloyd away, leaving Tess to decide if increasing pressure from federal investigators is worth protecting a kid with a dubious sense of right and wrong. Lippman lets each character contribute a piece to the whole, which makes the story richer, and there's some nail-biting suspense as Tess faces off against what she thinks are the big guns of government. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
She deserves to be read by everyone. And here's why:
1) Tess. As main characters go, she's a great heroine and a full-rounded character. This isn't some character (like Jack Ryan, for example) that's been in so many books that they've become rounded by no fault of the writer because they've had the guy do everything from analyst to Pope (joke there). Tess has been dynamic, exciting, puzzling, troubled, funny, and entertaining since the first book. It just happens that her characterization gets better with each book (we'll get to more of that later on).
2) Side characters. Like JK Rowling, Laura Lippman knows that readers love good side characters. Where would the Harry Potter books be without Ron and Hermione. Same can be said for Crow, Tyner, Kitty, Whitney (who I think I love a little), and other characters that I'm forgetting and I apologize. Laura gives us great, dynamic side characters to populate her world and they are a joy to come back to again and again. also, her addition of new characters in each book is great. Each character in No Good Deeds is spot on from the Feds to the eager-beaver district attorney to Lloyd.
3) Baltimore. Her city is the second main character. Like Lehane with Boston, Rankin with Edinburgh, and Pelecanos with DC, Baltimore is alive and well within her pages. As a true lover of the city, she brings Baltimore to you in all its highs and lows and its beauty and its ugliness. The city isn't just a setting but a living, breathing character. Also, she dives into the politics and the events that make a city a city. She isn't afraid to tell you what she thinks of what goes on in her city.
4) She Keeps Getting Better. Unlike other authors out there who we say, "Her/His first book was really good but the later ones just haven't been that great," Laura keeps getting better with each book. I thought By a Spider's Thread was the top of her game. In some ways for thrilling alone, it was. But No Good Deeds is even better in characterization and narrative thrust. This book starts and keeps cooking along, not wanting to let you go.
There. I've said why people should be reading Laura Lippman and not a lot of the crappy thrillers out there. I've said this before and I will keep on saying it, "Just because it's on the bestseller's list, doesn't mean it's good." Laura provides a great book every single damn time. Not every third book. No Good Deeds is a great book. Laura Lippman will not let you down.
"No Good Deeds" shows what happens when these worlds intersect, as they do amazingly often. A teenager named Lloyd Jupiter knows more than he should about the murder of a U.S. attorney. News junkies will immediately recognize the real-life analog to the bizarre stabbing death of federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna, which Lippman acknowledges as her inspiration in an author's note.
Crow Ransome brings Lloyd home after catching him involved in a tire-slashing scam. His girlfriend, private investigator Tess Monaghan, finds the kid to be a bit shady, but turns his story over to the local paper. Publication of the information backfires, and those in charge of finding Luna's killers prove to have agendas of their own.
Lippman's latest mystery will delight not only her regular Tess Monaghan fans but perhaps a wider audience that really should include most fiction buyers in Baltimore and environs. (As further evidence of Lippman's observations about Smalltimore, a disclaimer: Laura and I worked for the same employer years ago.) Laura really captures not only the city but its leading newspaper (where only the biggest murders rate more than two paragraphs), as well as the city's police, and most of all Mobtown's underclass and their ingenuity in pursuing petty crime and grifting.
"No Good Deeds" is close to non-fiction in its accurate settings and observations of Baltimore. For Baltimore insiders, "No Good Deeds" will delight in many little touches, including a nice joke about the the Baltimore Four (either antiwar activists or Orioles pitchers, depending on context).
Lippman's books have always been entertaining and readable and she is steadily adding richness to her portrait of her hometown and surefootedness to her plotting. With every book Lippman gets closer to the real deal of daily life here, from the ups and downs of the Dunbar Poets to the crime wave around Canton Square. The twists and turns of the plot ultimately lead to a stronger ending to "No Good Deeds" than the conclusion of her next-best book (in my opinion), "Every Single Thing." She's edging closer to Tom Wolfe's territory in "Bonfire of the Vanities" and, along with the HBO series "The Wire," putting together a solid portrait of an intriguing city in dangerous times.
It is finely crafted suspense populated with realistic characters that are worth caring about.
PI Tess Monaghan lands a consulting job with her former employer, Baltimore's Beacon Light.
The murder of a Federal prosecutor grabs Tess's attention. It starts out as an abstract example for journalistic investigation...but grows into much more.
Chance steps in when Tess's boy friend brings a scam artist/street kid home...the initial good deed. It turns out the kid (Lloyd Jupiter) is a link in the murder chain.
Wise enough to know he needs to remain invisible, Lloyd disappears.
During Tess's odyssey of discovery, much seems amiss with the official investigation. Protecting her source (Lloyd), Tess gives the paper as much as she knows...another good deed. This places Tess, her boy friend and Lloyd in jeopardy.
In peril from who is the question.
Tess's life is turned upside down by rogue agents from the FBI and DEA abetted by an ambitious Assistant US Attorney...revealing a wholly amoral world.
The tension builds steadily as the plot strands start to entwine in this notable and provocative novel.
"No Good Deeds" is entertaining and disturbing. Laura Lippman captures the allure of Baltimore in convincing fashion.
It starts strong and holds your attention.
Laura Lippman is the real deal...she writes with poise and flair...must reading!!!
One line that really stood out in the book for me was:
". . . the only thing you got for being a regular at the Days Inn bar on Security Blvd was loser status, even in the eyes of the losers who took your generous tips and smiled to your face, pretending fealty. No one had a nose for weakness like the bowed and bloodied." This paragraph was so edgy and descriptive I still haven't forgotten it. It also foreshadows how low one of the main characters has fallen, it describes that person in a nutshell. You just don't see it until almost the end.
Really enjoyed this one. And, for the record, I actually enjoyed Crow's point of view. Tess is the best, with Whitney of course, but I didn't dread reading Crow's parts at all.
As Crow puts it, if it had not snowed on that Monday in March. The snow led to a chain of circumstances with Crow bringing a homeless teenager home for dinner and a place to stay for the night. It turns out that the teenager, Lloyd, was a witness to a crime, and that draws Tess into the case when she connects Lloyd to a news reporter. Events disrupt her life as the case develops and federal agents demand that she reveal the name of the source. The story starts with a narration by Crow, and alternates between Crow, Tess, and other characters in the story. You will get a lot more Crow in this novel than in others. The story has an interesting ending, and you can wonder if Lloyd will show up again. You get some information along the way about Baltimore soup kitchens and the homeless, and a view of the underside of society where life is sometimes cheap.