…And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman

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Heloise (Helen)  Lewis has multiple lives…And many, many secrets. One of her alter egos is a wholesome working single mother, running an online business and hitting soccer games on the weekends. The other  is the Madame of a very discreet suburban “escort” service. Between booking politicians for late night rendezvous, and making parent night at school, her plate is looking pretty full. And about to get much worse.

A woman in a neighboring town has been arrested for doing exactly what Heloise is doing (but much less discreetly), and she is found dead in her car, an apparent suicide, but the police aren’t ruling out foul play. Heloise’s connection in the police is retiring, and he has warned her that she needs to get out of the business, but he can’t tell her why. A past employee is threatening to sue Heloise for something that may or may not actually be legitimate, and everyone is just getting a little too curious for her comfort. The father of her son, who her son believes to be dead, is actually serving time in prison for murder and has been taking a cut out of her business for years as a “silent partner”, but she is starting to believe that he has more connections to the outside than she originally thought…And someone may be out for blood.

This suburban madame has some serious decisions to make, and the lies are becoming more than any one person can handle.  What will Heloise do? Will the killer come after her next? Should she pay the woman who has been blackmailing her? Should she go on a date with Mr. Hottie from the grocery store amid all the chaos that is her life? What will happen if her son finds out what she actually does for a living? What will happen if her ex finds out that he has a son? Are the police onto her operation? When is enough, enough?

This novel is a brilliant and believable portrayal of the close calls and pitfalls of the more discreet side of the prostitution industry, portrayed to you through the eyes of a strong female who needs to learn just how to take control over her own life and stop answering to threats and intimidation. Watch Heloise as she becomes a woman that her son can be proud of….

This novel is clearly women’s fiction, but it lacks much of the humor that you would find in Chicklit. The story is more realistic than humorous and I am sad to tell you that there are absolutely no bodice-ripping “50 Shades of Grey” scenes. The author, much like her heroine, is very discreet. If you like to broaden your horizons and read something that stands on it’s own as an interested read with a topic that would intrigue most hot-blooded individuals, then be sure to check it out. This novel stands alone in it’s class, and that’s not a bad thing. If it sounds good to you, pick up And When She Was Good, by Laura Lippman,  today!

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