cover image Dream Girl

Dream Girl

Laura Lippman. Morrow, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-239007-3

Successful novelist Gerry Andersen, the protagonist of this delicious literary thriller from Edgar winner Lippman (Lady in the Lake), has moved to Baltimore from New York to be near his ailing mother. He has barely settled into his duplex penthouse when his mother dies. While mulling over his agent’s suggestion that he write a memoir and trying to overcome the rising fear that he’ll never write again, Gerry slips and falls down his dangerous (but artistically designed) staircase. His injuries are severe, and he’s confined to bed and cared for by round-the-clock nurses. Befuddled by painkillers, Gerry’s mind drifts back over episodes in his life: his childhood, the highs and lows of his three marriages, his book tours and teaching jobs. One night, he receives a phone call from a woman claiming to be Aubrey, a character in his first—and still royalty-producing—novel, Dream Girl. The calls persist, as do shadowy nighttime appearances of a woman. He scrambles to separate truth from possible hallucinations until the morning he awakes to find a woman undeniably dead in his bed. Perceptive, often amusing insights into a writer’s mind make this a standout. Lippman is in top form for this enticingly witty, multilayered guessing game. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (June)