Morrow, Sep 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
In Baltimore, fifth graders Alice Manning and Ronnie Fuller were sent home after the latter had misbehaved at a classmate's birthday party. Walking together, they come across a baby carriage with no adult apparently nearby. Ronnie insists “we have to take care of this baby”, but Alice has doubts feeling they are too young. Later the adults question Alice as to the word accented and emphasized by Ronnie when she said they needed to care for the infant as the child died under their tutelage. Neither confessed to killing the nine month old infant that they snatched.
Seven years later the two teens are freed from the State of Maryland's control, as the law has to let go these juvenile killers. Though the state is forced to forget and perhaps even forgive, people, especially those close to the dead baby like the mom, are not willing to turn the other cheek. Just after the release of Alice and Ronnie, the disappearance of little Brittany occurs that seems eerily similar to what the two girls once did.
The story line is a combination of a police procedural inside a character study as fans slowly learn who killed the infant among other revelations. With a deep cast and a powerful plot, EVERY SECRET THING will not remain secret to the reading public that will seek other fine (but not as dark) works by Ms. Lippman.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner