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By a Spider's Thread (2004)

por Laura Lippman

Séries: Tess Monaghan (8)

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6862325,107 (3.56)17
Tess Monaghan is called to help Mark Rubin, a wealthy Orthodox Jew who grudingly gives important information, find his family that simply vanished. Tess is able to locate the runaway wife and family, moving furtively with an unremarkable stranger. An intricate web of betrayal and vengeance unravels as memory leads to rage to murder.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 23 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Tess Monaghan is hired by Mark Rubin to find his wife, Natalie. Natalie had left suddenly, leaving no clue and yet there are signs that she left willingly. Rubin refuses to believe she left willingly, but Tess begins to wonder from the first. Rubin is stiff, rigid even. He loves his wife, it appears, but he's not easy to warm up to.

The couple had three children. They are gone along with Natalie. Increasingly, Tess believes that Rubin should focus on getting the children back and forget about Natalie.

Is she right about this? What has gone on in Natalie's past that might cause her to make such a move?

Fortunately, Tess has an assistant: the couple's oldest son, Isaac. She also tracks down Natalie's close friend Lana, and she suspects that the woman knows more than she's telling.

It's a plot with a lot of twists. Fortunately, they do come together at the end, as is typical in Tess Monaghan mysteries. Tess also takes advantage of her membership in a loose club called the Snoop Sisters, fellow detectives in other cities. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
I honestly don't have much to say here except that I really enjoyed this updated look at Tess's life. She is still suffering some aftershocks after the events in the last book. Having to kill someone or she would be killed left a hole in her. She and her boyfriend are living apart since she feels like he is trying to "fix" her and keep her safe. She is back to rowing and doing investigations again. Her uncle brings her a new client who is trying to track down his wife and three children. He doesn't understand why she left and the police won't help him. When Tess starts digging deeper she figures out there are half-truths going on and a whole lot of lying. When she finally starts pulling things apart she figures out a long-standing conspiracy.

Tess was great to me in this one. She still has her two dogs and her family and her favorite aunt. Though she is a bit lonely without Crow around, she's making due. Lippman references a few times how the last case shook Tess's confidence. She doesn't know if she can be strong again, but we get to see her do just that a bunch of times throughout the story. I also think that Tess's cynicism was softened a bit in this one, but she's still no one's fool. Via Tess, Lippman always does a great job breaking down the history of the places that Tess is traveling to.

We get introduced to a couple of new secondary characters in this one. We have Mark Rubin that has hired Tess to find his wife and children. I honestly didn't know what to make of him earlier on, but really liked that Lippman had things leaning one way until we get some shocking reveals here and there. Lippman also switches the POV's to Mark Rubin's wife Natalie, Rubin's son, and a mysterious man that has an unending hatred for Mark for some reason.

We also get some familiar characters in this one, Tess's best friend Whitney, her aunt, and her aunt's long-time boyfriend too.

I thought the writing was very good and that Lippman incorporated some more background on Orthodox Judaism which gave the book a different feel than prior ones. Rubin's religion definitely plays into what is going on or what he chose to not see.

The flow was a bit off after a while though. I think once we realize as readers what is going on you may start to feel a bit impatient for things to get moving.

The setting of Baltimore per usual seems to always have a presence in these books. We do have Tess traveling back and forth in this one, but for once the book stays centered in Maryland though Rubin's wife travels back and forth across multiple states.

The ending was really good and I didn't see the twist coming. I loved the epilogue and that we do see a hint of Tess's older cynicism rearing it's head. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I sure enjoyed this series. ( )
  RobertaLea | Mar 7, 2020 |
The private investigator Tess was funny and interesting. The book was fast paced and held my interest as more and more of the character's lives was revealed. I would like to read more in this series. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
This book opens with a powerful scene from the perspective of Isaac, Natalie's older son, who'd been taken away from home by his mother. At that point, I was solidly hooked. But as the story moved on, the pace slowed dramatically and things fell apart for me.

I haven't read any of the other Tess Monaghan novels. This one reads fine as a stand-alone, with no issues regarding a lack of backstory. But I didn't like Tess at all. Her humor is mostly sarcasm at another's expense. She's brash and overly opinionated, particularly for a PI whose business relies on her keeping an open mind.

Much of this book reads like an educational manual on Orthodox Judaism. We have constant references to fitting into Jewish communities and the personalities of Jewish people. Too often these are snide remarks and stereotypical ridicule. I'm not Jewish, yet I found this sometimes uncomfortable, and certainly not funny. It was also tedious and unnecessary to the story, as it would have been regardless of the particular religion being discussed.

The plot was drawn out and the investigation techniques not particularly plausible.

I could have easily put this book down at any point and never picked it up again.

*I received a review copy from the publisher.* ( )
  Darcia | Apr 26, 2019 |
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Tess Monaghan is called to help Mark Rubin, a wealthy Orthodox Jew who grudingly gives important information, find his family that simply vanished. Tess is able to locate the runaway wife and family, moving furtively with an unremarkable stranger. An intricate web of betrayal and vengeance unravels as memory leads to rage to murder.

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