Morrow, July 2004, 24.95, 368 pp.
Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan is overjoyed when she lands a wealthy client for her fledging business which is usually in need of survival funds. Mark Rubin, a modern orthodox Jew, wants Tess to find his wife and three children who disappeared without a word or a trace. Their disappearance comes as a shock to the grieving man who believes he had the perfect marriage and his wife Natalie had everything a woman could want.
Natalie never loved Mark; she waited for Zeke to get out of prison so they could be together. He was the one who arranged her marriage to Mark and he had a plan that would make them rich after he got out of jail. Natalie is not the innocent her husband thinks she is and she will go to extraordinary lengths to get what she wants. The more Tess learns about her the more she realizes that Natalie, knowingly or unwilling, has put her husband in danger from Zeke.
Laura Lippman always delivers a fascinating thriller but BY A SPIDER'S THREAD is her best Tess Monaghan work to date. Tess is a tough independent woman who is kindhearted even if she is afraid to make a commitment to the man she loves.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner