Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman

The Girl in the Green Raincoat is a thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, if the character played by Jimmy Stewart was instead a feisty detective named Tess Monaghan. Tess is heavily pregnant and is on bed rest for preeclampsia. She spends a lot of her time watching out her window and notices a woman in a green raincoat who walks her dog each day. The dog is also dressed in a matching green raincoat. One day the dog runs through the park alone without the woman. When Tess tries to find out the fate of the woman, she discovers that the woman’s husband has had a string of wives who have disappeared mysteriously. Will Tess be able to find the girl in the green raincoat?

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was a quick read and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. The characters are wonderfully developed. Tess is a great character. She is used to standing on her own as a detective and is suddenly depending on others to do the legwork for her. This causes frustration. At the same time she is trying to solve the mystery, she is having concerns about her boyfriend Crow, and about becoming a mother for the first time.

I found Tess to be very relatable as I just had my third child this past October. I was down and out with hypomesis gravidum at the beginning of the pregnancy. It is no fun when you are a hostage of your own body. Her fears and concerns are the same as all women when you are about to become a mother for the first time.

I am a huge Hitchcock fan and I loved the shades of Rear Window in The Girl in the Green Raincoat. The ending of this novel does not disappoint, it is a thriller through and through.
While I have previously read a Laura Lippman novel, it was not one of her Tess Monaghan mystery novels. This novel was great on its own having never read the series. Having said that, I will definitely be checking out the rest of the series!

Lippman’s prose in this novel is exquisite. There were many quotes that were so witty that I laughed out loud. Sadly I didn’t mark my favorite one, but here are a couple of my favorites.

The novel starts out with this quote, “I am being held hostage,” Tess Monaghan whispered into her iPhone. “By a terrorist. The agenda is unclear, the demands vague, but she’s prepared to hold me here for at least two months. Twelve weeks or eighteen years, depending on how you look at it.”

“Nice way to talk about our future child,” said her boyfriend Crow.

And this literary reference also made me laugh. “I think of myself as Boo Radley, watching quietly, at the read to avenge.”

“You look more like Scout, trapped in her ham costume.”

Overall, The Girl in the Green Raincoat is an excellent novel with witty dialogue, fantastic characters, and a thrilling plot.
About Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman grew up in Baltimore and returned to her hometown in 1989 to work as a journalist. After writing seven books while still a full-time reporter, she left the Baltimore Sun to focus on fiction. The author of two New York Times bestsellers, What the Dead Know and Another Thing to Fall, she has won numerous awards for her work, including the Edgar, Quill, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity.

To learn more about Laura’s work, visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.

This review is part of the TLC Book Tours.
For more reviews of this novel, please check out the rest of the tour stops:
Thursday, January 20th: Life In Review
Friday, January 21st: A Fanatic’s Book Blog
Monday, January 24th: Kelly’s Lucky You!
Tuesday, January 25th: In the Next Room
Wednesday, January 26th: Book Reviews by Molly
Thursday, January 27th: Books Are Like Candy Corn
Monday, January 31st: Books Like Breathing
Tuesday, February 1st: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Wednesday, February 2nd: Life in the Thumb
Thursday, February 3rd: Kahakai Kitchen

Book Source: Review Copy from Harper Collins Publishers. Thank-you!


  1. Wow! This does sound really good (wish I'd been on tour for this one). Excellent review, Laura!

  2. I am a big fan of Lippman's books and Tess Monaghan. I lived near Baltimore for six years, and she brought the city alive for me.

  3. Well, I love "Rear Window" so I'm definitely adding this to the wish list!

  4. Oooh I love that quote about being held hostage - it is hilarious and oh so true at the same time! LOL

    Thanks for being a part of this tour - I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

  5. This sounds like a really good book. I've enjoyed this author in the past.

  6. Sounds like my cup of tea --I'm so glad I stopped by today. Thanks!