This is a truly engaging read, starting off a bit slowly, but definitely intriguingly.
A short synopsis: Baltimore, 2005. A woman is found leaving the scene of a car accident, without identification and with a few superficial wounds. When questioned by the police, she claims to be "one of the Bethany girls", who had both vanished into thin air some 30 years before from the local shopping mall. At the time, the two sisters were 15 and 11 respectively. Both long presumed dead, nobody quite believes this strange woman, who refuses to get into details but seems to know quite a lot about the case. Could she really be who she claims she is?
After the disappearance all those years ago, the careful investigation, the wrong leads, after the last flicker of hope to find the sisters alive had faded away, it seems impossible that one of the girls has resurfaced. And where is the other sister? What on earth happened? This and many other questions will keep the reader on the alert.
We are taken back and forth from the time of the disappearance to the present day, through the eyes of the various main characters, including the girls' parents, shattered and overwhelmed by the tragedy.
This is not an edge-of-the-seat mystery novel, but it is a pager-turner nonetheless. I think that the author's ability to make the reader as frustrated with the identity of this woman as I was, combined with important revelations that keep coming up when you least expect it (so much so that more than once I had to re-read a passage for I could not believe I read it correctly the first time) well, Ms. Lippman's technique speaks for itself. Intriguing and engaging up until the end, well done! My rating: 4.5 stars.