Best Fiction

City Paper

At first, Laura Lippman resisted her husband David Simon’s suggestions to write a crime novel based on the story of Julius “The Lord” Salisbury, a Mobtown underworld character who disappeared in 1970 rather than go to prison, and was also the inspiration for Barry Levinson’s “Liberty Heights.” But eventually she began to see the dramatic potential not in Salisbury himself, but rather in the lives of the women he left behind, a wife, a lover, and three daughters. The result is part insightful domestic drama and part thrilling mystery—a combination made possible by Lippman’s Faulknerian structure, which allows her to skip around both chronologically and psychologically. With “After I’m Gone,” Lippman continues to show the immense storytelling potential in contemporary crime fiction.

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