George V. Reilly

Review: To the Power of Three

To the Power of Three
Title: To the Power of Three
Author: Laura Lippman
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: William Morrow
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 434
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 16 September, 2007

Days before graduation, a shooting takes place in the girls’ bathroom at a suburban Maryland high school. The popular, pretty Kat is dead; the athletic Josie was shot in the foot; and the drama star and shooter, Perri, is comatose after shooting herself in the head. The three girls had been in­sep­a­ra­ble since third grade, though Perri and Kat had fallen out the previous summer. What happened? What led Perri to such an act?

Lippman builds a compelling story, weaving together the aftermath and the events leading up to the shooting. She captures the grief and bemusement of the survivors, each with their own selfish per­spec­tive, as they struggle to find meaning in the shooting. Her grasp of the mores and currents within a con­tem­po­rary high school seems pitch perfect to me.

I said in my review of No Good Deeds that I thought Lippman was losing her enthusiasm for her Tess Monaghan series. This book has no such failing.

Highly rec­om­mend­ed.

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